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Selective Mutism: Treatment

Children with selective mutism (SM) speak in familiar contexts but not in other situations despite being able to do so. SM is categorized as an anxiety disorder that is typically diagnosed in children, with symptoms usually observed before 5 years of age. A large majority of children with SM are also diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, and SM may be an early-onset, developmental precursor to social anxiety disorder. Failure to speak may be an avoidant coping strategy used to decrease anxiety in social situations. The SM literature is relatively modest and comprises mainly case studies. However, the field seems to be approaching a consensus regarding effective treatment for SM. Integrated behavioral approaches that include active family involvement and school collaboration are most frequently implemented. Pharmacological ...

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