Article  |   January 1996
Elective Mutism
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders
Article   |   January 1996
Elective Mutism
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 1996, Vol.27, 10-15. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.10
History: Accepted 01 Mar 1995 , Received 18 Mar 1994
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 1996, Vol.27, 10-15. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2701.10
History: Accepted 01 Mar 1995 , Received 18 Mar 1994

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.

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