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Functional Analysis and Treatment of Selective Mutism in Children

Author(s): Christopher A. Kearney | Jennifer Vecchio

Journal: Journal of Speech and Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis
ISSN 1932-4731

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 57;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Mutism | social anxiety | functional assessment | interviews | scales | questionnaires | behavioral observations | treatment | contingency management.

Selective mutism refers to a persistent failure to speak in public situations, especially school, where speaking is expected. Researchers have linked selective mutism to social anxiety in many cases. Functional analysis of selective mutism generally involves interviews, questionnaires, behavioral observations, and daily logs. Assessors should look closely for conditions under which selective mutism commonly occurs, especially directives from others, lack of attention from others, high child anxiety, and lack of interpersonal skills. Treatments for selective mutism often involve exposure-based practices and parent- and teacher-based contingency management.

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