Known formerly as Elective Mutism, it is a condition of a consistent failure to speak in specific social situations, despite speaking in other settings (APA, 2013). Children with SM are fully capable of speech and language but are not able to speak in certain situations when it is expected of them. The disruption interferes with educational or occupational success or with social communication (APA, 2013). They may be severely withdrawn and some are unable to take part in group activities due to their extreme anxiety. Recent immigration is an additional stressor for some of these children.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
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