FAQ - Akinetic Mutism
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can you give me information about akinetic mutism?

i am a medical student and one of my patients is in this situation. She is 20 years old and had gone a pancreatic mass surgery 20 days ago. after the surgery she couldn't awake from anesthesia and when she awoke she was in this situation. In her file neurologs wrote that she had a thalamic infarct. I don't know if it is related to either anesthesia or surgery...

Akinetic mutism is a medical term describing patients who tend neither to speak (mutism) nor move (akinesia). It is the result of severe frontal lobe damage in which the pattern of inhibitory control is one of increasing passivity and gradually decreasing speech and motion.

An example of a cause of this disorder would be an olfactory groove meningioma. It is also seen in the final stages of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease(a rare degenerative brain disease), and in acute cases of encephalitis letharica. It can also occur in a stroke that affects both anterior cerebral territories.

Hope this information helps!  (+ info)

How do i cure my selective mutism?

I have a very bad thing called selective mutism. I Cant talk in high school but i am very outgoing at home. I really want to cure it cause i cant make friends cause i am too scared to talk. Please som1 tell me how to cure it

Hi! I think that your desire to cure your sm is a great first step toward making it happen! And it can be cured!

Do your parents know that you can't speak at school? If so, it would be great if your could see a psychologist who works with anxiety disorders. Also, your school should have someone who can work with you a couple of times a week to help you feel more comfortable, relaxed and able to speak at school. It may be difficult for you to reach out for help. But maybe you could send an email with some information about sm to a trusted adult at school. A great source of information is the Selective Mutism Group (SMG) www.selectivemutism.org.

Maybe you could record a message for someone at school and send it via email. You could make the recording at home where you are comfortable and send it to a teacher. That would be a great first step to speaking directly to someone at school. Plus, the teachers may not understand that you want to speak at school but it is difficult for you. Hearing your voice recorded when you are comfortable will help them learn about sm and understand what you are experiencing.

Do you ever get in trouble for not answering questions? If so, you really need to make sure the school understands that you are not being defiant but that you have a real anxiety disorder that needs to be addressed. You can have your mom or dad talk to the school or you can use the computer to help you advocate for yourself (like you are doing by putting this question on yahoo!).

Please know that you are far from alone in this. Many people struggle with sm. My 13 year old son has sm and has had to work very hard and take risks to get better. He has had a lot of help from his schools. If you are trying to do it alone, try figuring out what small step forward you could take each day or week. You can also practice with strangers. Smile and wave to people from your car window as you go by or say "thank you" to the store clerk who checks you out. With practice it will get easier!!! At school, recording your voice and sending it to a teacher would be a good place to start or saying "thanks" to the librarian or "bye" to a teacher. As you accomplish these things, you will see that it gets easier and easier to take the next step.

I would also make sure that your doctor knows about your sm. Print out some information from the SMG website and either give it to your doctor or have your mom/dad do it. Many sm kids take a small dose of an SSRI (like Prozac) to help their bodies relax a bit so they can work on the things that are difficult for them.

I have a feeling that there is a wonderful adult at your school who if they knew about sm and what you are going through would love to help you through it!!! The teachers who have helped my son have found it to be very rewarding.

Many blessings to you!  (+ info)

Can you have selective mutism, if you can talk to peers, but not to teachers?

I've always struggled to speak to teachers, and keep eye contact. I can only whisper a few words at best, but with my friends (at school) I can speak fine but if a teacher approaches while I'm with my friends I freeze up. However, I don't like going out with my friends after school.

Is this selective mutism?

If not being able to speak is beyond your control, then yes, it is a form of selective mutism.

Whispering with voice isn't mute. Don't confuse being shy with being mute.

Selective mustism usually refers to suddenly becoming completely mute (not having any ability to speak) after being able to speak normally. Usually this happens after severe traumatic event or injury.  (+ info)

is it possible to get selective mutism after elementary school?

Can somebody get selective mutism when they are around the age of eleven or twelve?...and not have shown signs of it before?

There was a great article in the most recent issue of Time Magazine. There are doctors who specialize in it interviewed in the magazine that you can contact.  (+ info)

What is the difference between Autism and Selective Mutism?

So far I have developed information about the two, but no website I checked gave the definition.

Autism is when kids are effected socially, physically, etc. It can be very severe and something that is not to be taken lightly. Something with their chemicals in their brain,

Selective mutes or as you call it selective mutism are not to be taken lightly either- they are kids that choose to talk sometimes and in some places, but not others, sometimes they don't talk at all, no one knows, but the selective mute themselves.  (+ info)

What is the difference between social anxiety disorder and selective mutism?

Social anxiety disorder is common among many more people than selective mutism. Selective mutism is a rare psychological condition and mostly affects children and adolescents. One other main difference is that social anxiety disorder is more biological where as selective mutism can be more environmental in nature. This is due to shown lowered cognitive functioning in individuals who are subjected to multi sensory environments. This may be why selective mutism is more common in children who have autism or other forms of sensory displacement.  (+ info)

Does anyone know how to treat selective mutism?

My son is very talkative except when he goes to school he does not talk at all. He is 6 yrs old and very intelligent.
Does his homework.

I have a pupil in my class who has selective mutism - it's quite hard to 'treat' as such, but the younger they are when you start, the better chance you have of geting results.

The child has an anxiety of talking, usually around adults, normally 'cos they believe the adult will judge them in a negative way. There will usually be 2-4 friends that the child trusts and will talk to them - they end up communicating for the child. These friends are the tool to getting the child to speak more openly.

I have asked them to read together, or work together with the child, who 9 times out of 10 will then end up speaking to them. As a teacher, over a period of time, I edge myself closer to the children, especially the selective mute child, so he knows I'm there and that I can hear him - he then realises that I'm not passing any judgement so continues to talk. Recently, I have begun commenting on what I've heard him reading, but in a really casual way so he's relaxed and not imtimidated by what I'm saying.

I could go on forever, but it'll be quicker if you just visit the websites below!  (+ info)

How can I overcome Selective Mutism?

How can I finally overcome selective mutism. I would LOVE to just go out and talk to everyone without being shy and nervous, but I just can't. What are some steps that I can take that will eventually lead me to finally being able to speak whenever I want to, to whoever I want to, and where ever I want to?
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I have selective mutism too. I would love to just go out and talk too. But I just like can't. Guess I didn't really help. Sorry!  (+ info)

Selective Mutism, How Long Did It Take To Diagnose, And The Best Ways To Help?

I know one person on here can help me (thanks for not allowing messages DES)

William is currently in Early Intervention, and they seem to be thinking along these lines. He can speak, but I tell you, he inherited my stubbornness.
There are a few other things he is being *tested* for, but this is the one I can't find much information about.

Thank you

finally a question on which i actually know what i'm talking about, and my computer keeps crashing every time i try to answer it.

check out www.selectivemutism.org. in the faq they have the criteria for diagnosis: basically that a person speaks normally in some settings but not others over a period of more than a month (not including the first month of school), it's interfering with their life in a significant way, and it's not attributable to another disorder. diagnosis was the easy part in our case. our daughter was very advanced in her speech at home, talked up a storm, and was reading chapter books by 3. when she stepped into the preschool building she went totally mute and would not talk even to get help if injured or if she needed the bathroom, and it persisted for months. the teacher thought she was massively learning delayed.

treatment is the harder part, and it's not the same for every kid. it's essentially an anxiety disorder. some kids need medication to get over it, others do well with behavior therapy. we did not go the medication route, but we did spend two of the most stressful years of our lives getting her help. definitely get a referral to a professional who has dealt with it before if it turns out your son has it. for us, what eventually worked was taking off the pressure to talk, then gradually introducing rewards for *very* minor progress. she could not have had a conversation at school to save her life at first, but she did eventually respond to incentives for tiny steps (whispering "bye" at the same time we did when she left, for example). in our case, lots of one-on-one playdates with other kids also helped tremendously (they were tough at first, because she wouldn't talk at all during the playdate, but when she eventually did, she was able to transfer her comfort level to school). also, though it might have been a freak thing in our case, singing helped. a parent-child singing class is the first place our daughter ever spoke in a public setting. for some reason she didn't mind singing, and then she transferred that vocalization to actual speech.

i'd strongly recommend tuning out all the people who will tell you should just punish for failure to talk (i'm sure you would, anyway). that just increases the child's anxiety and makes the problem worse.

there are a couple of books about dealing with sm in the school setting. the titles aren't coming to me at the moment, but they're probably referenced on the website and you could search on selective mutism on amazon if you wanted to find them.

our daughter is now talking up a social storm wherever she goes, and it still makes me want to cry with relief on a regular basis. it was a hard road to get here, though. i know you've done hard before, though. best of luck to your son.  (+ info)

what to do with 8 yr old with selective mutism?

i have been told my son has selective mutism and will not talk in school unless called upon. he talks at home and does fine around friends. the teachers and i just cant get him to talk in school. any ideas?

i work at a school adn we had a little girl like this but she wouldnt talk to anyone so they "gave" her to me to work with. im a T.A basically. so i couldnt think of anything but the reward system. she was 6 so i got a bag of m&m's (sounds mean i guess is what ppl told me) and everything she'd say i'd let her get a couple of them and basically worked with her everyday at it and now she talks all the time. after the candy thing i did stars on a chart and after she got so many stars i'd go out and get her something. some people said it was mean kinda like if she was a dog but it worked so...  (+ info)

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