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Selective mutism is a complex psychological disorder caused
by anxiety. Average onset is 3.7 years of age. Generally,
selective mutism is called shyness for several years until
a child enters school and does not function verbally in
school and most social situations outside of school.
Parents and teachers become very concerned and seek further
assistance and diagnosis. These children have the ability
to speak and understand language, develop age appropriate
skills, and function normally at home with most family
members and are, therefore, often misdiagnosed. If this
nonverbal behavior outside of the home lasts for a period
of time, it becomes a learned pattern and is quite
difficult to overcome, because the longer a child is
silent, the more entrenched the behavior becomes.

Most school personnel do not have the expertise or
experience to deal with a child having this disorder which
is caused ...See More


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