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Abnormal Psychology - Selective Mutism


Barrett M

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of Abnormal Psychology - Selective Mutism

Barrett Marsh Abnormal Psychology: Selective Mutism What is Selective Mutism? History of Selective Mutism Symptoms Case Study Treatment Interesting Facts Works Cited Selective Mutism is a disorder usually diagnosed in early childhood and adolescence which is mainly characterized by the "persistent failure to speak in specific social situations where speaking is expected," according to the DSM IV.

Basically, it is a disorder where those afflicted make the conscious choice not to speak. This disorder is not to be confused with people who are not familiar with a nation's native language. Symptoms of the disorder are:

-Fear around people they do not know
-Speak at home, but not in new social situations
-Ability to speak and comprehend local language, but do not -Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder, not a speech disorder, so speech therapy does not help.

-Informing the school or environment where one is uncomfortable is the first step of treatment.

-Family and friends alike must give the person a sense of empowerment, and refrain from scolding them about the issue.

-This lets the person work it out for themselves, the only form of treatment proven effective. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994. Print.

Louden, Delroy M., PhD. Elective Mutism: A Case Study of a Disorder of Childhood. Washington, DC: National Medical Association, 1987. Print.

"Selective Mutism Symptoms." Selective Mutism Symptoms. Selective-mutism.info, 2011. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.

Vorvick, Linda J., MD. "Selective Mutism: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Feb. 2012. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. Originally known as Elective Mutism, Selective Mutism was found after German physician Kanner M. Elktiver saw that some children with mutism were able to speak, but chose not to in certain environments. Traditionally, those with mutism do not speak whatsoever, which is where Selective mutism differs. -A boy, referred to as "D." by the Case Study, is a prime example of selective mutism.

-This boy never lived with his parents, only with his uncle, and then a social worker.

-When he moved back with his now married uncle, he refused to speak because of his uncle's new wife.

-When he was adopted, there was a great improvement in his speaking ability, due to the treatment method of rewarding him, or positive reinforcement, whenever he verbally communicated. Works Cited cont. "How Common Is This Problem, to Be Worthy of Our Attention?" Selective Mutism Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2013.

Nizza, Mike. "Seung-Hui Cho: Who Is This Man?" Seung-Hui Cho: Who Is This Man? The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2007. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. -Selective Mutism has been found to be more common than autism by studies done in California and Israel

-Cho Seung Hui, the student who committed the mass murder-suicide at Virginia Tech in 2007, was diagnosed with selective mutism Fictional Character with Selective Muteness Wile E. Coyote can scream, like many other cartoon characters but he is unable to verbally communicate his wants and needs, instead using actions to speak for him, much like D. from the case study.
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