Selective Mutism Research

(Also Known As: Selective Mute Research, Mutism Research, Elective Mutism Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Selective Mutism related research

Social Communication Anxiety Therapy (SCAT)

This certain therapy was developed by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum and implemented at the Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center (SMart Center). SCAT is based on the concept that selective mutism is a social communication anxiety disorder that is more than just not speaking. During her studies and further research, Dr. Shipon-Blum was able to create the SM-Stages of Social Communication Comfort Scale. This describes the various stages of social communication that are possible for a child suffering from selective mutism. According to the professor, children suffering from selective mutism (SM) change their level of social communication based on the setting and expectations from others within a setting. Therefore, a child may have difficulty socially engaging, communicating nonverbally, and perhaps cannot communicate at all when feeling anxious or uncomfortable. In some cases, mutism is the most noted symptom seen in children. This, therefore mean that they are able to engage and have sharp nonverbal skills. Dr. Shipon-Blum further added that these children are fixed in the nonverbal stage of communication and therefore suffer from a subtype of SM called: SPEECH PHOBIA. Furthermore, she emphasized that it is of utmost importance that a complete understanding of the child should be made in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan and school based interventions. After a complete evaluation, Dr. Shipon-Blum stated that treatment needs to address three key questions:

  • WHY did a child develop SM?
  • WHY does selective mutism persist despite being in active treatment and parent/teacher awareness?
  • WHAT can be done at home, the real world and within school to help the child build the coping skills and overcome their social communication challenges?

After the three questions have been addressed, treatment is then developed via the entire child approach. The process requires complete cooperation of the child, parents and school personnel which will be under direct supervision of a treatment professional. 16

Could You Have Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Irrational Fears, Anxiety, Phobia, Depression, Stress
Reactive Attachment Disorder – Inappropriate Ways to Relate Socially, Failure to Form Normal Attachment to Caregivers During Childhood
Separation Anxiety Disorder – Anxiety From Separation to a Care Giver, Strong Emotional Attachment
Social Anxiety Disorder – Social Phobia, Distressed, Depression, Anxious, Chronic Fear, Panic Attack, Intense Fear and Anxiety