Coaxing Children With Selective Mutism to Find Their Voices

August 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Research

Catherine Saint Louis reports:

… The problem usually begins before age 5, and early intervention can help. Treatment usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy, with modifications for children who don’t talk to unknown adults — therapists included. If C.B.T. fails, drugs like Prozac may be prescribed in low doses.

But now researchers are taking a different tack: intensive, weeklong immersion programs, like this one run by Florida International University, in which selectively mute children are put through a variety of exercises to practice what frightens them most.

Classroom immersion may work more quickly than standard therapy, some experts say. And it exposes children to the need to speak in front of and with their peers.

Read more on the New York Times.

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