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Selective mutism

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by ms_pepperpot, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Hi, Im doing a dissertation on selective mutism in schools in england but im finding it really hard to find government policy on it! Can anyone point me in the right direction please?
  2. Hi, Im doing a dissertation on selective mutism in schools in england but im finding it really hard to find government policy on it! Can anyone point me in the right direction please?
  3. I don't think there will be a specific policy but I would suggest you look at the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. I think the main issue would be inclusion - what special provision would you need to make for a child who chooses not to speak.


    I have written individual education plans (IEP's) for a child who was a selective mute in a class I had.
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    er did you mean elective mutism?
  5. I thought it was elective mute too and checked before I posted it but seems both are correct.
  6. cinderella1

    cinderella1 New commenter

    I have had 2 such children in my class, one child we got to talk, by saying that when the new children came in September he had to speak, and he did.

    Another joined a cooking activity and ob didnt talk, so was removed from the table and told he couldnt cook any more on Thursdays unless he spoke, and he spoke. These were drastic measures after children had been mute for over 2 terms, when you hear them run into the cloakroom or chatting away to parents out of School, it is amazing. Drastic measures worked
  7. Plimpy - thankyou! Ive just found the policy but was confused whether selective mutism would come under SEN. It really helps that you had to do an IEP because it gives me confidence that it is dealt with under that policy!

    It can be called elective mutism but it is more correct for it to be selective mutism - elective suggests its a conduct disorder and selective suggests its an anxiety disorder. Ive just written a huge chapter on the debate!

    Thankyou all for your help!
  8. That's shocking selective mutism is an anxiety disorder, you can't force them to talk by not letting them join in things they like. Most teachers have no idea what selective mutism is. Rather angry.....
  9. I am too! Surely we work with them to overcome their anxiety. i had a lovely girl last year who was a selective mute. She still is, but SLT working with her and the family. she can talk, she has a very good vocabularyand mature language skills and lots of friends,reads and writes well, but simply chooses not to speak at school due to some underlying anxiety. She'll get there in her own time. Other children have done so in our school and often remain painfully shy, but bullying them into talking will not be a good long term solution.
  10. I completly disagree with excluding a pupil from an activity because they didn't talk.
    I have a boy in my nursery who in September was a selective mute.
    Some advice I got given was to ask questions that have to be answered, eg. do you want apple or banana? But this didn't work for us.
    What we did was try to get the child to enjoy nursery, we found out what he liked and didn't force him to talk. Eventually (january) he went to do some group work and answered a question (very quietly).
    He is now talking and much happier at nursery, and this week he even started singing!

  11. Just out of interest - what would you have done if these approaches hadn't worked and the children still hadn't spoken?
  12. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    Cinderella1 did post this over 5 years ago!

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