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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Letter E

Elective mutism also known as selective mutism. An individual who persistently fails to talk in a given situation where speaking is expected despite speaking in other contexts has elective mutism. The mutism must interfere with the individuals life in order to be diagnosed with this disorder and it must last for at least one month.

Individuals with elective mutism are difficult to work with because they generally have anxiety over meeting new people. I have recently started to work with a child who has elective mutism and have decided to use systematic desensitization also known as graduated exposure therapy which is a type of behavioral therapy in order to treat the child. In systematic desensitization a person will first be taught relaxation skills and then be exposed to the stimuli that causes the anxiety in hierarchy of fears and rewarded for interacting with that stimuli. For example in the beginning I will have the child look at me and then she will receive a reward. Next I will have her do a one word request to receive the reward. This will continue to happen until she is speaking in the situation that causes the anxiety.

10 comments:

  1. huh interesting your choice of therapy in this...dont know that i have truly come across this but maybe similar...

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  2. I've never heard of elective mutism before--it was interesting to read about the therapy you use.

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  3. Nice post! I came across your blog via the A-Z Challenge. I now follow you and would love for you to check out my blog over at http://yadinbromberg.blogspot.com

    Thanks and good luck with the A-Z Challenge!
    -Yadin

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  4. This is an interesting concept...makes me think how I could apply it to a character in a story. Hope you are enjoying the challenge! http://4ambassadorsofchrist.blogspot.com/

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  5. Very interesting, Josh. You are a very patient and dedicated person. At the height of the economic crisis, my nephew-in-law thought he'd lose his business and his home and lost his voice. One day he could speak, the next day he couldn't. He got help, of course, and is fine. He also did NOT lose either his business or his home. Fear can do terrible stuff.

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  6. Very informative series! Found you on the A-Z and am now a follower!

    Come by! www.hammockinthehoneysuckle.blogspot.com

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  7. Interesting solution to a frustrating situation. Good luck with your patient. :-)

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  8. The therapy you propose must take a lot of time and patience, but I imagine the reward if your client speaks to you must be wonderful.

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  9. There is a Cary Grant movie called Father Goose. In there one of the characters suffers from this and it is really cute to see how she changes through the show. Another good post. Thanks for all your research.

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  10. Fear and anxiety are very powerful! Great work!

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