Academic Abilities of Children with Selective Mutism

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Development Research
Academic Abilities of Children with Selective Mutism
Children with selective mutism suffer from anxiety and the inability to speak in certain social situations. One very common social situation that all children face is in the classroom, with teachers and classmates. This situation is often the very first social situation that children are without their parents. This may have a correspondence to the act the selective mutism often emerges in preschool years (Cunningham, McHolm, Boyle, & Patel, 2004). A common situation where selective mutism appears is when in communication with a teacher. However, the social anxiety appears to have little to no influence on children with selective mutism and their math and reading
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Instructional Decision
Many in class activities involving group interaction could be intimidating to children with social anxiety. My job as a speech pathologist is to communicate with the student and obtain a good sense of what the student finds to be the most beneficial social interaction. I would also be working with the student on how to cope and adjust to more uncomfortable circumstances, gradually introducing them to more difficult social situations. For example, after the child is able to be comfortable talking to me, I may introduce them to a knew adult and have them work on speaking to and in front of them. I might also gradually increase the size and diversity of the group that the child talks to. However, I would take the information on what I know promotes or diminishes the student’s capabilities to learn and relay that to the teacher (AG 3.16). For example, if I learn that the child works best in groups of the same gender, I may suggest that learning environment to the teacher. Possibly, the child must have a reminder picture or word on his/her desk to remember to stay calm and how to speak. I may make the teacher aware of this icon on his/her desk, and if the child has an episode of mutism, I will suggest that the teacher just subtly touch the student’s desk to remind them of their “helper card”. Therefore, the

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