Selective mutism is a rare disorder that is not typically diagnosed until the child enters pre-school or kindergarten (Kumpulainen et al., 1998; Black & Uhde, 1992). Parents generally assume that their child is extremely shy and believe their shy behavior is appropriate when the child is in unfamiliar situations. However, current research indicates that selective mutism is not something a child will grow out of or is appropriate behavior for children. On the contrary, the research indicates that selective mutism appears to be a form of an anxiety disorder, social phobia in particular (Cline & Baldwin, 2004). As such, early prevention and intervention treatments strategies are very important, in order, to reduce the long-term consequences, if left untreated. In the school setting, the school psychologist is the psychologist in the schools. As such, the school psychologist should be aware of this disorder and the unique characteristics of selective mutism. Additionally, the school psychologist should be able to implement appropriate prevention and academic intervention strategies for the student who is at risk for developing selective mutism as well as for the student who has been diagnosed with selective mutism. The purpose of this doctoral project is to inform school personnel who work within the school system as well as within the community about the unique needs and challenges of the selective mute student. Additionally, this doctoral project will discuss the current empirical literature that supports the reconceptualization of selective mutism as an anxiety disorder (Busse & Downey, 2011), the importance of differentiating selective mutism from a communication disorder, and when necessary, the appropriate special education eligibility.
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||Los Angeles, HSOE|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Anxiety disorders, Psycho-educational interventions, School psychology, Selective mutism|
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