It’s ok for children to be anxious sometimes. In certain social situations selective mutism means that a child is literally unable to speak, involuntarily. However, when nobody else is listening they are able to talk freely to family and friends.
With the right sympathetic support, and early support, this can be managed so that they can anticipate the situations that cause the anxiety and work themselves through it, and it may only last for a few months.
If this is something your child is experiencing, you can access support through either your local children’s centre, their education setting, health visiting team (pre-school age) or school health nurse (school age). If the situation is ongoing your health visitor or school nurse can discuss referring onto a specialist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
The CCHP services that may be involved:
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Health Visitor
- School Health Nurse
- Community Paediatrician
For more information about a condition, please visit NHS Choices.