Sometimes there are cases of children who can not talk, whether in certain situations or when they are in front of some people. We can define selective mutism as the difficulty that some children have when they have to communicate verbally in situations that are unfamiliar to them or when they have
Sometimes there are cases of children who can not talk, whether in certain situations or when they are in front of some people.
We can define selective mutism as the difficulty that some children have when they have to communicate verbally in situations that are unfamiliar to them or when they have to do it with little-known people.
Why there are children who do not want to talk
Children who do not want to speak or with selective mutismhave a language and communication capacity appropriate for their age, but they limit their oral communication to very intimate people and to very specific situations. That is to say, that in these children the difficulties to communicate are not due to language disorders or any other developmental disorder, but that mutism is a learned strategy to avoid situations in which they have to talk and that generate anxiety. For this reason, they usually compensate using alternative means of communication such as whispering in the ear, making gestures, grimaces, shakes of the head, pushing to ask for something ...
The appearance and development of selective mutism are influenced by different variables such as:
- Child's own variables: shyness, social withdrawal, dependence, vulnerability to anxiety, lack of social skills, etc.
- Environmental variables related to the child's context: overprotective or authoritarian educational style of the parents, low level of sociability or family isolation, excessive attachment of the mother, inadequate interpersonal relationship models, traumatic social experiences, family or school perfectionism , etc.
All these variables increase the likelihood of suffering from mutism, but the disorder is usually triggered when there is a stressful life event in the child's life, appearing especially with the beginning of schooling.
Why selective mutism is maintained in children
Once the problem of selective mutism appears, the disorder is maintained over time due mainly to two conditions: A - That these children
tend to have an excess of attention part of the adults that surround him, as well as an excess of protection or accommodation to the alternative form in which they communicate, which reinforces mutism. Por - On the other hand, the other children usually withdraw their attention completely
, which causes that the interactions with peers are reduced, aggravating the situation of social isolation. Aroa CamineroPsychologist