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7 Year Old with Selective Mutism

Asked By: Anonymous     Views: 1,497 times

I have self-diagnosed my daughter with Selective Mutism by the research i have been doing and different things I have been reading.  I am still looking for a doctor in the Miami area that can properly diagnose her so that we can decide the best kind of treatment.  Do you have any recommendations for proper diagnosis? My question to you is, are there different degrees or is there a spectrum of Selective Mutism cases?  What are the best case scenarios for recovery? My daughter does communicate with teachers, camp counselors, after care assistants and children her age.  Although the communication is with limitation, she speaks to them and she seems to be comfortable in school with her teachers and classmates.  She is doing very good in school in terms of grades.  However, outside of school, she only speaks to immediate family members, the Nanny and Grandmother.  She will also speak to children, but will not speak to any of her aunts, uncles, friend's parents, or teenagers in the family. I am also a little bit confused on how to handle in conversations with her.  Do you make her aware of the problem she has?  Does that work to their advantage as they try to overcome this problem? I really appreciate any type of insight as I am very interested in getting her the help she needs as soon as possible.

The fact that your daughter talks to the people you mentioned is a good sign as the problem does occur in many degrees. Diagnosis of the problem is relatively simple. It's the treatment that is the real challenge! If the child is able to talk normally, but shuts down verbally in a pattern of "select" scenarios where there are verbal expectations SM is present. The expectations create obsessive worry, which results in the compulsion of detaching from, and avoiding, verbal behavior. In my therapy with parents of sm children I have found it very productive to:

  1. Get parents on the same team with parenting technique and philosophy.
  2. Learn a methodology of non-enabling.
  3. Teach the child an understanding of anxiety.
  4. Teach the child to identify and attach to emotions.
  5. Teach the child to identify thought patterns.
It does take some work. The free seminar "with professional baseball player" and Selective Mutism interviews available on our Selective Mutism page will give you more in- depth insight.

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