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Transcript of Selective Mutism
Fear of embarrassment
Controlling and oppositional behavior
Self-Modeling- videotape the child successfully responding verbally to requests and using it in an environment where the child does not speak to eliminate their anxiety.
Medication- as a last resort, anti-depressants can be used to treat selective mutism.
An anxiety disorder that prevents someone from speaking in
Usually becomes evident in preschool or kindergarten.
An anxiety disorder that effects less than 1% of the population.
Is more common in girls than boys.
To be diagnosed with selective mutism, a child must:
Not speak in certain settings and the behavior must last for more than a month.
The lack of communication must interfere with academic success
The mutism cannot be due to lack of content knowledge or due to a language barrier.
cannot be due to a developmental disorder, or any psychotic disorder such as, schizophrenia.
Environmental Stressors- divorce, death, trauma, etc.
Bilingual Mutism- not comfortable with the primary language used in the environment
Negative Reinforcement- bribing, forcing, or threatening a child to speak increases their anxiety
Contingency Management- positive reinforcement to modify verbal behavior.
Shaping- scaffolding from nonverbal communication to sounds, to whispers, to words and sentences.
Systematic Desensitization- gradually exposing the child to situations that cause anxiety to decrease their anxiety.
Fading- gradually introducing other children into an activity the child is comfortable
TouchChat, and Proloquo2Go are very expensive around $200. Abilipad is $19.99. All three apps have text to speech capabilities.
Busse, R.T. & Downey, J. (2011). Selective mutism: A
three-tiered approach to prevention and intervention.
Contemporary School Psychology, 15
Hung, S., Spencer, M.S., & Dronamraju, R., (2012).
Selective mutism: Practice and intervention strategies for children.
Children & Schools, 34
Kehle, T.J., Bray, M.A., & Theodore, L.A., (2004).
Selective mutism: A primer for parents and educators. Retreived from http://www.nasponline.org/educators/selectivemutism_ho.pdf
Kervatt, G. (n.d.). Classroom strategies for teachers of
selectively mute children. Reteived from http://www.selectivemutism.org/resources/library/School%20Issues/Classroom%20Strategies%20for%20Teachers%20of%20SM%20Children.pdf
Shipon-Blum, E., (n.d.). Helping our teacher's
understand selective mutism. Retreived from http://www.selectivemutismcenter.org/Media_Library/helpteacherunder.pdf
Unspoken Words; A Child's View of Selective Mutism
The Selective Mutism Summer Vacation and Back to School Guide
Easing School Jitters for the Selective Mute Child
The Ideal Classroom Setting for the Selective Mute Child
Supplemental Treatment Guide to Understanding Katie
Teacher should get to know the student in an environment that does not cause anxiety like their home.
Parents can attend school with the child to help the child become more comfortable with the environment.
Do not try to bribe, force or threaten the child to speak.
Do not make a big deal when a child does speak.
Provide opportunities for small group interaction preferably placing the Selectively Mute child with a close friend.
Avoid eye contact with the child.
Seat the child to the side of the classroom not front and center.
Provide ways to communicate through cards and whiteboards.
Let the child be a classroom helper.
by: Stacey Simoncini