web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



The Burden Of Silence: Understanding Selective Mutism


Schonfeld-logo1

I’ll Try Tomorrow

Here I am! I wanted to say

The girl that comes here everyday

I wanted to talk and be a part of you

And show you everything that I can do

But I sat here quietly day after day

Not knowing why I can’t ask you to play

I wish I had the strength to try

But, it was just too hard, (I was too shy)

You use to ask me many times to play

But I couldn’t answer I turned away

I wanted to smile and join in the fun

But I remained silent (I wanted to run)

I know I’m different but I want to be like you

But it’s the hardest thing for me to do

Now the day is over and my heart is filled with sorrow

For I couldn’t speak again today, I guess

I’ll try tomorrow…

Fil Wickman,, sufferer of selective mutism

Everybody acts differently when they are at home and when they are in school. Some children might be more outgoing at home, but more reserved in school. However, for some children, the split between home and school can be severe and potentially debilitating. For those like Wickman, the author of the poem above, speaking in school or in public can be torturous. So torturous in fact, that she cannot speak except in the safety of her own home.

For many years, people suffering from selective mutism, or the inability to speak in certain social situations, were thought to be unstable or abused. Their behavior was attributed to an emotional disturbance. Recent research, however, has proven that the idea that children with selective mutism are disturbed is a myth that should be discredited and exposed.

 

What Is Selective Mutism?

Selective mutism is a disorder that usually occurs during childhood. Children and adults with this disorder are fully capable of speech and understanding language, but can fail to speak in certain situations when it is expected of them. Particularly in young children, selective mutism can sometimes be confused with an autism spectrum disorder, especially if the child acts withdrawn around his or her diagnostician.

Although children on the autistic scale may be selectively mute, they display other behaviors such as hand flapping, repetitive behavior, and social isolation. Children with selective mutism do not exhibit these other behaviors, in fact they are often very well adjusted, but simply cannot speak in certain social situations. A videotape of the child at home playing and spontaneously communicating with a sibling or parent is one of the most effective and least inexpensive diagnostic tools to rule out autism or language delay.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association details the symptoms of selective mutism:

  • Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations – such as school or with neighbors.
  • This inability to speak interferes with educational or occupational achievement.
  • The length of the inability to speak lasts more than one month (excluding the first month of school).
  • The failure to speak does not stem from a lack of knowledge or comfort with the language required for the situation.
  • Selective mutism usually occurs before a child is five-years-old and is usually first noticed when a child starts school.

 

Selective mutism may not be identified before kindergarten. This is because in preschool, children are not often forced to speak in the learning process. In addition, children in preschool who do not speak are considered shy, whereas in kindergarten, teachers begin to consider other scenarios.

 

Why “Selective” Mutism?

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Burden Of Silence: Understanding Selective Mutism

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A clip from"How to Stab a Jew," the latest hit on Arab social media.
‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media [video]
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

An incredible child protégé and a world chess champion, Boris Spassky (1937- ), best known for his “Match of the Century” loss in Reykjavík to Fischer, will always be inexorably tied to the latter.

book-super-secret-diary

Who hasn’t experienced how hard it can be to fit in?

In our times, most of us when we pray, our minds are on something else-it is hard to focus all the time.

The participants discussed the rich Jewish-Hungarian heritage, including that two-thirds of the fourteen Hungarian Nobel Prize winners have Jewish origin.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
ring and heart

United Synagogue Youth teen board members are told ban is lifted on dating non-Jews, but “important” to date within the faith.

Rosenblatt and several Jewish residents of the neighborhood visited the station on the seventh night of Chanukah to show their support after the murder Saturday of two police officers in neighboring Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The question now is this definite proof that Jews lived in the ancient settlement near Carmel?

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-burden-of-silence-understanding-selective-mutism/2014/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: