Selective mutism is an uncommon disorder in young children, in which they selectively don't speak in certain social situations, while being capable of speaking easily in other social situations. Many etiologies were proposed for selective mutism including psychodynamic, behavioral and familial etc. A developmental etiology that includes insights from all the above is gaining support. Accordingly, mild language impairment in a child with an anxiety trait may be at the root of developing selective mutism. The behavior will be reinforced by an avoidant pattern in the family. Early treatment and followup for children with selective mutism is important. The treatment includes non-pharmacological therapy (psychodynamic, behavioral and familial) and pharmacologic therapy--mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
|Published - Oct 2012