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Language disorders mutism akinetic mutism elective mutism selective mutism causes of mutism diagnosis of mutism mutism treatment

What causes mutism?

Mutism is believed to arise from anxiety experienced in social situations where the child may be called upon to speak. Most experts believe that there are environmental, biological, interpersonal, and anxiety-related factors that cause selective mutism. Most children with this condition have some form of extreme social phobia. Refusing to speak, or speaking in a whisper, spares the child from the possible humiliation or embarrassment of "saying the wrong thing." When asked a direct question by teachers, for example, the affected child may act as if they are unable to answer.Some children may communicate via gestures, nodding, or very brief utterances. Additional features may include excessive shyness, oppositional behavior, and impaired learning at school. Some affected children have a family history of selective mutism, extreme shyness, or anxiety disorders that may increase their risk for similar problems. This condition is most common in children under age 5.

More information on mutism

What is mutism? - Mutism is the inability or unwillingness to speak. Mutism is a rare childhood condition characterized by a consistent failure to speak in situations where talking is expected.
What's akinetic mutism? - Akinetic mutism is a variety of stupor in which the patient is unable to talk or carry out purposeful behaviour but may lie with eyes open.
What's elective mutism? - Elective mutism is a condition in which children do not speak because they do not want to. True elective mutism may be a reaction to a traumatic event.
What is selective mutism? - Selective mutism is a condition in which a child who is fluent with language frequently fails to speak in certain situations where language is expected.
What causes mutism? - Mutism is believed to be caused by anxiety experienced in social situations where the child may be called upon to speak.
How is mutism diagnosed? - The diagnosis of mutism is fairly easy to make because the signs amd symptoms are clear-cut and easily observable.
What's the treatment for mutism? - There are two recommended treatments for mutism: behavior modification therapy and antidepressant medication.
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