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People with selective mutism are able to speak,
but they cannot overcome their inhibitions!

shy boySelective mutism is an emotional disorder of the ability to communicate. It is characterised by a lasting disability to speak in some situations; whereas in other situations, speaking is possible. However, the disorder is not based on physical reasons, since articulation, receptive and expressive language of the person concerned are mostly normal.

The term mutism (lat. mutitas "muteness", mutus "mute", psychogenic hush or silence) is referring to an insistent hush of a person, whose speech-organs are perfectly sound. This silence can be intentional or based on a mental dysfunction. The reasons of mutism are manifold and little investigated. Mutism is not only a personal problem, but has to be seen in a social context. That means, social conflicts and aberrations can lead to social alienation and fears. Mutism can be caused, amongst others, through neuroses, psychogenic stupor, paralytic shocks, intense emotional distress etc. It occurs frequently with sensitive children, whose need for attention, care, love and security has been neglected; or in the case of social anxieties that have been caused by bad experiences outside the parental home.
hiding child There are two kinds of mutism: On the one hand, there is total mutism (the child does not talk to anybody) and on the other hand, there is selective mutism (the child only talks to elected persons and in a spatio-temporally defined environment). Mutism, in most cases, can be cured with various forms of psychotherapy, speech therapy and behaviour therapy .



For more information on mutism, download the German flyer as pdf-Symbol


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IG Mutismus Schweiz
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IG Mutismus Schweiz
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