On several occasions, there are children who do not want to speak, either due to different circumstances, either because of experiences they have lived through that prevent them from doing so, or because of emotional states that do not help them either.
There is a definition that sometimes explains the reason why some children, most of them young, choose not to speak in front of people who are not family members or in front of people who do not cause them any kind of confidence or comfort. This term is defined as selective mutism where children who do not want to speak have language and communication skills appropriate for their age, but limit their oral communication to very intimate people and very specific situations. In other words, in these children the difficulties in communicating are not due to language disorders or any other developmental disorder, but rather that mutism is a learned strategy to avoid situations in which they have to speak and that generate anxiety. This usually happens in environments such as school, park, family dinners, and etc.
Once selective mutism appears, the disorder is maintained over time because these children tend to have excessive attention from the adults around them, or other children tend to completely withdraw their attention, which causes them to become reduce interactions with peers, aggravating the situation of social isolation.
In all cases, a psychological and speech therapy evaluation is always suggested so that the appropriate and individualized therapeutic plan can be initiated so that children who suffer from this disorder learn to use specific tools and learn to adapt to the environment.
ESPAI TAU KIDS TEAM