Elective Mutism A Tutorial Tutorial
Tutorial  |   January 01, 1996
Elective Mutism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Holly F. Harris
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, 9817 Woodsong Court, Raleigh, NC 27613
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   January 01, 1996
Elective Mutism
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1996, Vol. 27, 10-15. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.10
History: Received March 18, 1994 , Accepted March 1, 1995
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1996, Vol. 27, 10-15. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.10
History: Received March 18, 1994; Accepted March 1, 1995

Elective mutism is a "persistent refusal to talk in one or more major social situations&despite [the] ability to comprehend spoken language and to speak" (American Psychiatric Association, 1987, p. 89). This article serves as a tutorial, providing information on elective mutism, a disorder potentially encountered by speech-language pathologists typically inexperienced in its diagnosis and management. It is the first article concerning elective mutism in a major speech-language pathology journal since the 1950s. The history, characteristics, classification, differential diagnosis, and treatment of elective mutism are discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author thanks Robert T. Harris, MD for his editing assistance and Thomas L. Layton, PhD for his technical help.
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