How does Selective Mutism arise?
How does selective mutism arise?
Selective mutism is a disorder that usually manifests itself at the age of 2 to 5 years. According to recent studies, selective mutism results from a combination of several determinants that may play different roles in different children. Some children tend to be anxious or restrained already in infancy and react to new stimuli with tension and avoidance. If a child shows such an anxious temperament, this increases the probability of developing selective mutism later on. Studies have shown that there is a genetic influence in the development of selective mutism. Furthermore, the presence of a migration background seems to be a risk factor for the development of this disease. The learning of a new language and the associated insecurity in speaking plays a role here.
There are some false assumptions about development factors which, however, cannot be confirmed on the basis of the current state of research:
Selective mutism does not arise from a traumatic experience or traumatisation of the child.
Selective mutism is usually not a defiant reaction or a refusal to speak. Rather, the affected children cannot express themselves due to their intense fear, although they would like to speak.