Did You Know #8

Did you know that there is a mental disorder that can cause a person to stop speaking? Selective Mutism(SM) is an anxiety caused disorder that can affect a persons ability to effectively communicate in certain situations. SM is often confused with autism, when in fact it is a complex anxiety disorder. SM is a very rare disorder that only affects 1% of the known population. There are many symptoms to SM such as refusing to speak, not talking when you should(school, work, socializing), social isolation, negativity, being clingy to caregivers, compulsive traits, fear of embarrassment, etc. SM can often be overlooked, especially in children because this behavior can be passed as being “shy”. People with SM may also find other ways to communicate: hand jesters, writing, texting, ASL, etc. Please note that many can confuse SM with being shy. If you think that you or someone you know might have SM, notify a professional to get a proper diagnosis. (video on SM)

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