Selective Mutism: When anxiety shuts down the power to speak

Extract from Special Needs Jungle, 26 October 2015

The days are slipping by so quickly that we’re already into October half-term and three quarters of the way through the awareness month for Selective Mutism called ‘Make a Noise for Selective Mutism Awareness,’

We have struggled with SM-like symptoms in our own family with Son2, as although his diagnosis is Asperger’s/ASD, anxiety and sensory overload can cause him to “freeze”. In fact, it’s believed that this symptom crossover can cause a risk of misdiagnosis.

However, Selective Mutism is a condition in its own right and SMiRA (Selective Mutism Information & Research Association) describes Selective Mutism, sometimes called Situational Mutism, as an anxiety-based mental health disorder, which usually commences in early childhood. SMiRA offers support to families and health and education professionals involved in the care of selectively mute children. It runs a very active facebook group and a website at

Source and full article at