What is Selective Mutism?

Selective mutism is an individual’s persistent failure to speak in specific social situations (like school). ThisSelective Mutism mutism is selective, because these children otherwise speak freely and normally. Selective mutism is generally considered a psychological condition that often occurs hand-in-hand with social anxiety.

What causes selective mutism?

Unfortunately, selective mutism appears in children of varying ages, at varying points in their lives, and the exact cause of the condition is unknown.

How does the condition develop?

Though the condition can develop at any point, onset of selective mutism typically appears before a child is 5 years old. The disorder usually goes unrecognized until the child is in preschool, a setting in which he is forced to interact with other children, and one in which the mutism is magnified. Selective mutism often resolves itself and disappears completely within a year; however, because of the negative consequences the disorder can have on a child’s academic performance and social interaction, it is important to provide treatment and therapy to overcome the condition quickly. Furthermore, selective mutism can become chronic and severe, so addressing the condition as soon as possible is critical to ensuring your child makes a speedy, complete recovery.

How do I help treat my child’s selective mutism?

A team approach is best for children with selective mutism. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most well known treatment for the condition, and this form of therapy is provided by a psychologist.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, a team of therapists will work your child through his selective mutism. Speech-language pathologists will assessyour child’s speech, language and communication skills and will also treat any other deficits or disorders that are occurring simultaneously. A social worker will work with your child to address any issues of anxiety or stress, both of which are often related to selective mutism. A pediatric neuropsychologist is also available for additional evaluation and cognitive behavioral treatment as necessary. All team members play a role in the education and counseling for parents and teachers of children with selective mutism.

Click here to add your own text

NSPT provided me with an exceptional learning opportunity to further my clinical skills as a SLP student. I left NSPT with more knowledge in my field and more confidence in myself as a clinician. The positive environment, interdisciplinary team work, and everlasting support at NSPT made my externship placement truly wonderful!

Maddie

NSPT provided me the opportunity to not only gain more clinicial skills in my area of study, but also alllowed me to better understand and experience what other clinicial professions do. I appreciated the feedback and experiences here at NSPT and am so happy I had the opportunity to work alongside other therapists!

Frances

My daughter saw Zoe in Glenview for feeding therapy starting when she was 6 months old. We were very concerned because she was losing weight and refusing to eat solids. From the first session, Zoe was able to work with our baby to not only get her to try foods, but to take an active interest in them. Zoe also provided tremendous comfort to us by sharing her breadth of professional and personal knowledge on infant feeding. Our baby is nearly 1 year old now and she is a happy, healthy eater (though still a little picky). We are so grateful to Zoe for starting us on this path.

Matt Galin

My son has been receiving speech therarpy here for the past 3 years. If it wasn’t for the intellect of the therapist he was working with we would have never discovered that he has APD. Through hard work over the course of the years, my son has blossomed into a talking machine. I highly recommend NSPT for all your kids needs.

Carla Robinson

Our son Ian received speech therapy from Ms. Katie 2x per week for 6 months. We were so thrilled to see his confidence increasing as his verbal skills improved. While we have moved out-of-state & no longer go to NSPT, I am hopeful that we will find a therapy center that is as wonderful & caring as they were!

Stephanie Long

NSTP has managed to turn a difficult and sometimes frustrating situation into a fun and educational experience for my 6 year old daughter. Their confidence, willingness to explain every detail of what they do and what they have planned for my daughters sessions has been a life saver to me. The enthusiasm and confidence I encounter with her therapists is not only a needed relief to me as a parent but is also picked up by my daughter and can been seen in her interactions with the therapists and other children as we walk into the office.

Ben

My 3-year-old receives speech therapy at NSPT. I’ve been so happy with the progress she’s making in this area. She has been learning new words and phrases and is incorporating them at home, which has been great! I’m impressed with the concern and level of care of the therapists at NSPT.

Pamela S

North Shore Pediatric Therapy provides a supportive and fun educational atmosphere for both clinical interns and clients. I learned a lot from both my supervisor as well as the rest of the team, made of clinicians from the fields of speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work. I received constructive feedback, had access to a variety of helpful treatment and diagnostic materials, and experienced providing services to a variety of clients and their families. Overall, I learned a lot during my time at NSPT and will be very sad not to spend more time there.

Stephanie Long

My son is making wonderful progress with voice volume and enunciation! We love Jaclyn! Thank you for your loving support!

Lisa D

I have three children who have been coming to NSPT since October 2012 in the Glenview office. The therapists are amazing with my children. They are very caring and kind and they love working with children. My son reached all of his goals after one year of being with his therapist. My other two kids are showing a lot of progress and improvement in their speech. I am very happy with the services my kids are receiving.

Weam S

My son (now 4 1/2) has been coming to Speech Therapy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Highland Park for 9 months. When he started, he was fairly unintelligible, and we were very concerned. Thanks to the amazing SLPs at NSPT, my son has greatly improved and is so much more intelligible. While we still have a ways to go I believe we are on the right track. I no longer have to translate everything he says to everyone. We are thrilled with the speech services our son has received.

Leah B

My son has been going for speech and ot for almost a year and Ellyn and Katie have been so great working with my son. since starting at north shore pediatric therapy he has really shown huge improvement and has made everyday life easier for my son. they have been great.

Merrick

My son (now 4) has been coming to Speech Therapy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview for over a year. When he started, he could barely form words was somewhat unintelligible, and we were obviously very concerned. Everyone used to tell me that one day he would be talking so much I would just want him to stop, but I had a hard time believing them. Thanks to the amazing SLPs at NSPT, it’s true! My son now speaks in full sentences, is fully intelligible, has gained an enormous amount of self-confidence, and I do sometimes think “when is this kid going to be quiet?”. Haha – Needless to say we are thrilled with the speech services our son has received.

Jennifer N

North Shore Pediatric Therapy provides a positive and fun learning environment for their clients. I enjoyed working alongside the therapists in a multi-disciplinary setting and I learned a lot from the experience!

Tanya Noronha

Since my family put my autistic sister into speech therapy in North Shore Pediatric Therapy she had improved in her speech and developed new words, and found confidence in trying to speak more and Maureen is very happy, because everybody is very friendly and pays attention to her needs.

Anonymous

My 22 month old son has been coming to Speech Therapy here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown since last fall (2013). He has been seeing Jessica Jamicich. Jessica is a warm, kind and extremely caring Speech Therapist who is wonderful with children with developmental delays. Currently, he is working on action words and two word phrases. My husband and I are extremely please with his speech development. Jessica has been instrumental in helping his speech development along.

Melinda V

We have been getting services for about 6 months and seen incredible changes in our son. Each individual has different needs, and I am glad that Rebecca is able to assess and help meet some of the needs we have. She creates a comfortable environment and helps give my child tools to be more successful.

Heather

Rebecca is Izzy’s therapist and we both love her. She works well with Izzy, she’s a great fit for Izzy’s personality and her needs. I believe she’s done her best in trying to help with Izzy’s issues. Izzy has made some progress, and the areas she hasn’t, I feel have nothing to do with Rebecca. Rebecca is great!

Liz Schmidt

My son has been seeing Rebecca for about four months now and we are so happy to have found her. Because of her caring and patient nature, she has made Luke feel comfortable from day one. She has wonderful insights into him and we have seen improvement in the short time we have been here. She is also such a wonderful resource for my husband and I. Luke really enjoys coming here. He will leave his Minecraft world to spend time with Rebecca and if you knew my son that means a lot!

Ramona C

Meet-With-A-Speech-Pathologist