Speech Therapy

Treating Selective Mutism In Children

Few children show some type of fear and anxiety while getting social with others. These children may be smart and highly observant but may be very shy at times. Treatment mode for Selective Mutism uses a combination of Social, Educational and Psychological approaches. Because same mode of treatment can not be effective in all cases.

PLAY THERAPY:

  • Playful materials like- games, coloring stuffs should be provided to make the child comfortable
  • The child should be given chance to take lead in all playful works
  • The child should not be forced to interact or participate
  • With the help of Music and Arts communication can be taught.
  • Extremely slow progress should be made by using signs, then words, then verbs and then sentences.
  • More approaches should be adopted to reduce anxiety in the child.

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:

The follwing can be done to decrease the level of anxiety:

  • The child should not be forced to talk
  • Opportunities should be given to the child to activities not involving talking
  • The child can be made to participate in small group activities

The following can be done to teach communication:

  • teaching usage of cards, symbols or body language to communicate other than talking
  • Ask the child to record whatever he wants to say at home and then bring it to school the next day
  • Check for a peer to whom the child speaks to for his immediate needs like- restroom or medical needs
  • Try including the child in group activities as far as possible
  • Praise the child in plenty for each attempt he makes to make a sound or at each sound he makes

HOME-BASED ACTIVITIES:

  • Threats or punishments should be avoided at any cost
  • Try promote extra curricular activities in the child like- swimming, sports etc.
  • Try provide a secure environment for the child to live
  • Invite peers or other children of same age to home
  • Advises or helps may be taken from medical and other professionals

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