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Selective mutism?

Jshet's picture
by
Jshet


Selective mutism?

Fri 7 Nov 2014 12:00am
Topic: 

Hi, i am new here, but not new to autism.  My son is 17, almost 18, and has autism, adhd, and anxiety.  Today his psycharitrist said (he has been seeing her for 3 years), that she is adding the diagnosis of selective mutism.  She said that autism and selective mutism can be diagnoised together.  I was wondering if anyone else's child is disgnoised with both? 

I have seen conflicting info. on line regarding if they can be diagnosed together.  My main concern is because i need to file for ssi for him since he is turning 18, and also has cystic fibrosis, and the insurance is greatly needed for the expensive medications needed for his lungs.  I don't want a denial because she puts both diagnoses on the paper work.  Thank you so much.  All advice appreciated.  Hshet 

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  • VictoriaE's picture

    Hi Jshet and welcome to the community smiley I do know of children who have diagnoses of both autism and selctive mutism.  It might be a good idea to speak to your GP about it or the psychiatrist, particuarly as you are filling in insurance paperwork.  Other members may also, hopefully be able to share their experiences.

    Victoria, Information Officer, Ambitious about Autism
  • Jolie's picture

    Hey Victoria 

     

    My son has ASD he hasn't been diagnosed with selective mutism but I believe he does have a diagnosis of it.

  • Jshet's picture

    Thank you both for the replies.  I greatly appreciate it.  I am going to speak to his ped. on Monday.

  • michaelz's picture

    on bbc radio 4 this morning at 11.00 hours.

    ----

    Comedy performer and broadcaster Helen Keen, explores a rare condition that she herself once suffered from, known as selective mutism or SM. An anxiety disorder that develops in childhood, those affected by SM can usually speak fluently in some situations, notably a home, but remain silent elsewhere - such as in school, with extended family members, or even parents. Their inability to speak is so severe that it's been likened to a phobia of speaking, and is often accompanied by the physical symptoms of extreme anxiety. Selective mutism can be mistaken for shyness or worse, a deliberate refusal to talk. But in reality, these children are desperate to speak, to share their thoughts and ideas, to make friends and to fulfil the expectations of their teachers and parents, in taking an active part in class activities. Yet somehow the words remain "trapped" inside as the anxiety, frustration and fear, builds.

    Though relatively rare, increasing awareness and official recognition of selective mutism in the psychiatric literature has seen an increase in diagnoses. Today, it's estimated to affect about 1 in 150 children in the UK - roughly equivalent to the number of children who are affected by classic autism. The causes of selective mutism are poorly understood but a genetic component is likely as are environmental influences. What's clear is that without early intervention, SM can take hold and persist well into adulthood and in rare cases can develop into more acute mental health problems. As Helen knows only too well, it can be a lonely place to grow up in as the quiet child is so often, 'the forgotten child'. It wasn't until Helen was in her early twenties that she managed to break the silence.

    In this programme, Helen meets some of those affected by SM, including parents and former sufferers as well as experts helping children to find their voice again. Producer: Rami Tzabar.

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051s0fm

  • michaelz's picture

    programme migrated to bbc world service - discovery programme.

    i think i may have been selectively mute at school - i rarely spoke!

    ---

    Comedy performer and broadcaster Helen Keen, explores a rare condition that she herself once suffered from - selective mutism or SM. It is an anxiety disorder that develops in childhood. Those affected by SM can usually speak fluently in some situations, notably a home, but remain silent elsewhere - such as in school, with extended family members, or even parents.

    Their inability to speak is so severe that it has been likened to a phobia of speaking, and is often accompanied by the physical symptoms of extreme anxiety. Selective mutism can be mistaken for shyness or worse, a deliberate refusal to talk. But in reality, these children are desperate to speak, to share their thoughts and ideas, to make friends and to fulfil the expectations of their teachers and parents, in taking an active part in class activities. Yet somehow the words remain "trapped" inside as the anxiety, frustration and fear, builds.

    Though relatively rare, increasing awareness and official recognition of selective mutism in the psychiatric literature has seen an increase in diagnoses. Today, it is estimated to affect about 1 in 150 children in the UK – roughly equivalent to the number of children who are affected by classic autism. The causes of selective mutism are poorly understood but a genetic component is likely as are environmental influences.

    What is clear is that without early intervention, SM can take hold and persist well into adulthood and in rare cases can develop into more acute mental health problems. As Helen knows only too well, it can be a lonely place to grow up in, as the quiet child is so often 'the forgotten child'. It wasn't until Helen was in her early 20s that she managed to break the silence.

    In this programme, Helen meets some of those affected by SM, including parents and former sufferers as well as experts helping children to find their voice again.

    Available now

    28 minutes

    Last on

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l40fl

  • TanyaMonty's picture

    We have no diagnosis of the selective mutism but my two year old asd son will wake up one day and only gesture and grunt for things. I will ask him "so you are not talking today?" he shakes his head. He will go the entire day without talking wake up the next day and talk (well make his best effort his language skills are behind). With him we feel it's just a refusal to talk. No clue as to why he does it and he's too little to really express why. Those days we try to encourage him to speak but don't force it. I hope you get some answers. 

  • michaelz's picture

    bbc radio 4 - woman's hour discussion :

    Around one in 140 young children are affected by selective mutism, and the condition is more common in girls than boys.

    It is a severe situational anxiety disorder which means that the child has a phobia of initiating speech, and can not speak in certain scenarios.

    What can be done about it? Katherine Josling, mother of Rosa and Alison Wintgens, the national advisor for selective mutism for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists discuss.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09bxk98

     

  • justice4Yaki's picture

    My son who is quite tomorrow was diagnosed by Great Orford Street Hospital in 2012 with both Autism and Selective Mutism.

    Jennifer Kazley
  • michaelz's picture

    Speechless

    Andrew Viner's comedy in which a shy man seemingly magically gains confidence but becomes dangerously enthralled by the visceral power of public speaking.

    Directed by Liz Webb

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xdgrf

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