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jpaspie
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14 Jul 2012, 9:36 am

I have Selective mutism which is not a great way to go through life also living with aspergers :oops:
Im not to sure if this is that common in aspie's but i know some do have this horrible anxiety disorder!
Through out my whole life ive been asked by people why dont i talk and i hate it because i couldn't really tell them, i mean i am embarassed by this and making friends is just to hard...

Am i right in thinking that theres a connexion between Aspergers and Selective mutism or are they both two different things?
Please help! :cry: :cry: :cry:



abstract
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14 Jul 2012, 9:48 am

I believe that there is, I remember reading something that suggested this. I didn't talk to my math teacher for about two months and then after that only talked to her only when required. I loathed her for reasons that I would prefer not to discus here.



Joe90
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14 Jul 2012, 10:11 am

I have selective mutism. I can be very chatty when around people I know and feel comfortable with, especially if it's just one-to-one, but when I'm in a social situation where I don't know anybody, I go completely mute and I don't say a word unless somebody speaks to me specifically.


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jpaspie
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14 Jul 2012, 10:18 am

I have selective mutism. I can be very chatty when around people I know and feel comfortable with, especially if it's just one-to-one, but when I'm in a social situation where I don't know anybody, I go completely mute and I don't say a word unless somebody speaks to me specifically.


I am the same actually im ok in one-to-one in convo's but only with people i feel comfortable talking to, and in groups i dont speak unless someone talks to me specifically.



rebbieh
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14 Jul 2012, 10:22 am

Joe90 wrote:
I have selective mutism. I can be very chatty when around people I know and feel comfortable with, especially if it's just one-to-one, but when I'm in a social situation where I don't know anybody, I go completely mute and I don't say a word unless somebody speaks to me specifically.


I do that too. Last time it happened was a couple of weeks ago. I was with my boyfriend, his brother and the brother's girlfriend. Since I knew all three of them quite well I managed to talk quite a bit even though I got tired quickly. But then, a friend of theirs came over. I had never met him before. After he arrived I was quiet all night. Didn't say a word except for when that person said "you're a very quiet person" and I replied by saying "sorry."

Question; what's the difference between selective mutism and social anxiety?

EDIT: Also, even if I'm in a group situation (with more than 4 people or so, myself included) where I know everyone, I pretty much go mute.



jpaspie
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14 Jul 2012, 10:32 am

Rebbieh: Hmm.. i dont know what the difference between selective mutism and social anxiety is, i have social anxiety too so you can see how bad my life must be. :( :x :(



DrHouseHasAspergers
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14 Jul 2012, 11:15 am

Selective mutism is an inability to speak in certain situations. You say that while it makes you very anxious you can speak in social situations when someone speaks to you. People with selective mutism are unable to speak a single word in certain situations even when someone speaks directly to them.



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14 Jul 2012, 11:53 am

My friend has an 18 year old kid with SM. For some odd reason she will spontaneously talk to me (Like if I see her walking in the neighborhood). Usually, around adults (non peers or older) she will not say a peep.

I was just shocked when she said, "Hello, how are you doing?", and waved to me.

I'm a very extrovert NT, so her even saying "hello" was a huge surprise.

Though, her mom told me in social situations (school, church functions, parties with a mixed age group), Tee will not talk at ALL. So, I would just smile and wave when she would jog by.

I consider myself really lucky. Tee has a very pleasant voice.



PixelPony
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14 Jul 2012, 1:52 pm

What DrHouse said.

Selective Mutism is kind of misleading in its name. You aren't voluntarily keeping silent. You may very much want to speak, but are unable.

I used to get this a lot as a child. If fear or anxiety reached a certain point, I just could not talk. I get it less often now, usually just in intensely emotional situations. If my partner and I are arguing for example, sometimes it feels like my brain and mouth just lose their connection and I can't talk until I calm down.


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Last edited by PixelPony on 14 Jul 2012, 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

OJani
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14 Jul 2012, 3:33 pm

I know a 7 yo kid with SM. He won't speak before people other than his parents, siblings, and some of his peers and teachers. These latter two is considered a huge improvement by his parents, and I don't see how I could agree with it... There are known techniques to help someone with SM release the anxiety that blocks speech. The worst thing that can happen is blaming it to the person, as if it would be a voluntary act. No, it isn't (that's why it's been renamed from Elective to Selective). Every time the person is scolded because of it, it only deepens their anxiety. This would be the first thing to carve in the minds of people around someone with SM, imo.


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14 Jul 2012, 6:01 pm

My daughter definitely has it and she is on the mild end of the spectrum.



phyrehawke
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15 Jul 2012, 3:12 pm

JP, there IS a connection between several different kinds of mutisms and autism. This is one of my "special interest areas", since I had problems and everybody had questions and nobody had answers...I had the time and a little research background to go find some answers. So I could probably overwhelm you with information on the subject.

I will try to answer your original question. The connection between selective mutism and autism is potentially in a couple of different areas. One area is in the cerebellum part of the brain, which is sometimes malformed in people with ASDs and that makes for odd wiring for coordination of all sorts of things, and communication is one of them. I have a very mild form of that. Another issue is that the left temporal lobe doesn't exactly come pre-programmed WITH speech, but it does normally come pre-programmed to LEARN speech a certain way in NT's as toddlers. They still do not understand if it's a lack of the pre-programming or what, but when speech is not learned in the normal way some form of mutisms often result, and the milder ones may not even affect you very much until later in life, or when you are under a lot of stress. Or, as a professional once put it to me, maybe I was supposed to be mute, or partially mute, and I was smart enough to "hotwire" my brain for speech, with some help from my determined mom. In that case speech would be a doubled edged sword, because I'm constantly pushing myself too hard to use it and causing myself problems and frustrated with it...but oh how good it is to have the world available to me that speech has made possible.

When we have a high enough IQ to "hotwire" our brains for speech, and learn something we lacked the pre-programming for just because we were smart enough to figure it out...well, that's potentially an HFA/Asperger's thing. But that doesn't mean that speech is going to be as easy as it is for other people. The more stress you are under the more difficult it will become to juggle all the bits that we have to learn that don't come naturally...tone, volume, facial language, body language, etc. When you get tired it'll be more difficult. Anxiety would do it too. Some meds can also affect it for some reason.
EEG's of mutes show low/slow left temporal lobe activity. When I have had 2 episodes show up on EEG's they also showed up as slow left temporal waves, but I gather it's not a constant thing with me, and that's what makes the mutism selective. Elective mutism is when you choose not to speak.



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15 Jul 2012, 3:35 pm

jpaspie wrote:
Am i right in thinking that theres a connexion between Aspergers and Selective mutism or are they both two different things?
Please help! :cry: :cry: :cry:

I guess I haven't answered your question yet... So, the selective mute kid I was writing about shows definite autistic traits, e.g. rocking, how he plays with toys (sometimes lining them up, or playing with them not the usual way), aloofness (but that can be the result of his SM). I remember once he stayed at the lavatory for half an hour just because his parents "forgot" to wipe his botty, at age 6...



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15 Jul 2012, 5:13 pm

I have selective mutism and I hate it. There is a definite difference between not wanting to speak (which of course happens to us all) and selective mutism in which you might want to speak but actually are unable to.

I become mute when under stress and also when there is an expectation for me to speak, or when I want/have to ask someone a question the answer to which is of direct importance to me. As a result I often become mute when in formal group discussion situations, when I visit my GP when I am otherwise feeling anxious/stressed, when I visit the psychiatrist, and even around people I generally trust when I need to ask them a question.

It is frustrating. The words are in my head but they won't come out - its not that I don't want to say anything... it's often when I most want to. The words just get stuck. I am a generally quiet person anyway, so most people don't notice my mutism because they think it is just part of my being quiet ... but it is very real.

With my GP and psychiatrist I often type when I become mute (though when it's really bad I can't manage that). With people I trust I may write a note and pass it to them - to be honest they have usually made it to my trusted list because they have accepted me and my preference to communicate in writing so I don't feel odd handing them a note (or in some cases sending them a text message even though they are right next to me). With my husband I may write an email to get what I want to say across to him, but it doesn't happen too often with him, only when I have something really important to tell him.

My mutism has been worse since I had my big shutdown/meltdown/breakdown/whatever last September. Is it linked to AS? I don't know. But I have both.


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15 Jul 2012, 5:18 pm

That was very interesting, Phyrehawke, thank you. I think my daughter may be as you described...not originally wired to speak. At first it seemed that she did not understand the purpose of it at all, but once she "caught on" to why one would want to speak, she caught up to--and surpassed--her peers in just a couple of years. She has had an overall odd way of learning speech. For example, she never babbled as a baby or toddler. However, after she became verbal, she started to babble. Endless strings of "words" that were not words, but the "sentences" had more "normal" inflection than her regular speech. It was as if she had to figure out how to modulate her cadence and tone, but couldn't do it while using real words. Too much to focus on at once. When she was able to use more normal cadence and tone in her speech, the babbling stopped. She also had an odd habit of using strings of questions to communicate. She would repeat the same, or very similar, content over and over and over again, in the form of a string of questions. I think it is/was an attempt to engage in reciprocal communication, but it was very clumsy. When her older brother pointed out to her that it was odd, she slowly learned to stop doing it. She hardly ever does it anymore, and I think it was directly related to his feedback.

She actually learns most things that most people learn incidentally in a rather rote and painstaking manner. It is like she wasn't wired for a lot of things. But she has learned many.