Questions and answers


How would you answer the following questions:

  • Is my child silent in certain situations or with certain people, although he or she is expected to talk?

  • Does my child talk to certain people only in a very quiet voice or with individual words?

  • Does my child have difficulty answering even by expressions or gestures, or shaking or nodding their head?

  • Does my child seem rigid or slow-moving in certain situations?

  • Does my child seem expressionless in certain situations?

  • Does speaking get more difficult for my child the more he or she is asked or demanded to speak?

  • Does my child avoid eye contact when spoken to?

  • Is it difficult for my child to laugh, cough, clear their throat, sneeze or produce other sounds in certain situations?

  • Does my child try to avoid situations in which he or she should speak?

  • Does my child speak differently in different situations (for example, talkative at home, quiet or non-speaking at kindergarten, school, while visiting)?

(Source: FSSM Frankfurt survey on selective mutism)

If you answered ’yes’ to at least six of these questions, it is very possible that your child has situational difficulty in speaking (selective mutism).