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jpaspie
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15 Jul 2012, 7:06 pm

Phyrehawke:
Thank you for explaining different kinds of mutism :) that was very useful information, if you can get back to me again id be most greatful on knowing on how you researched all you know on this subject.

P.S Im also very greatful on everyone else who has so far commented on this, i guess it's an issue that most of us have hard times coping with considering that SM is still not well enough known about by most people.



Matt62
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15 Jul 2012, 7:18 pm

All I can say is that in the past, there are times & activities where I would not/could not, talk to other people. I realize I offended many of my peers, but when I have been intensely focused on something, I am just that. I do NOT multi-task!
Its gotten better but I still have my moments.
Shut-downs are a slightly seperate issue, but I am usually mute completely during these.

Sincerely,
Matthew



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15 Jul 2012, 7:28 pm

I worked in childcare in a day care centre for a week (I changed my mind, kids are rotten) and one girl had selective mutism. I just knew it. It was like she couldn't speak at all, she would never mutter a word for the whole week I'd seen her, and it wasn't that she was shy either, , because she wasn't afraid to play with the other kids and stuff, and she definitely wasn't mute, otherwise I would've been notified.

Sad really, but it can be helped with the help of therapy. Seen it on TV, this one girl had selective mutism and she's on her way to recovery. At the end of the documentary, she was able to talk in her classroom environment.

It's quite sad really, because if you need something, depending on the situation, you can't say it. Even if you were in pain, you couldn't say :(



phyrehawke
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15 Jul 2012, 9:35 pm

The biggest helps in understanding mutisms, for me, came from some articles Temple Grandin wrote, and from a book I have called "The Neurology of Autism" that is a collection of essays written by a variety of researchers and psych professionals in fields related to autism. I had a decent collection of other articles on the subject, and my computer was seriously hacked in January those were in the one big file I lost when I recovered my computer. :(
A couple of the essays in "The Neurology of Autism" address different forms of mutism in depth, and how speech is supposed to be wired in the brain and how they've found a variety of ways in which speech can be cross-wired incorrectly as it's being programmed by a toddler. Like the normal way for a toddler to program speech is to reach out with their right hand (even if left handed) to gesture towards an object/person and make a noise (reach to dog/ "oggie") and this activates the left temporal lobe to learn speech. The brain doesn't come pre-wired with speech, but it normally comes pre-wired to acquire speech or learn it this way. Being extremely stubbornly left hand dominant, or confusingly ambidextrous, or so autistic the toddler does not ever reach out to gesture or make noise, then the system isn't working like it's designed to. Maybe because the wiring to learn speech is "incorrectly installed"? Or the region normally programmed with that is being used for something else? (because we can have odd talents) When you're smart enough you wire speech somehow, even if it's not like everybody else's. It may have "issues" later, as life and speech gets more complex.
As far as I understand, you can actually see selective mutism episodes on an EEG, as slow waves, like they show up on mine. My neurologist tends to call it "dysarthria" but it's what happens when I get struck speechless. When it's really severe there is no writing notes or sign language to be had either, and that was a very frustrating discovery as well. Dysarthria is the term the "Neurology of Autism" book uses for that broad uncomfortable area in between normal speech and totally mute, but it is used interchangeably even though dysarthria can just be difficulty speaking and not a total lack of speech.
I'm glad some of my research can be helpful to others trying to understand, and not just to me. :)



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16 Jul 2012, 5:39 pm

My daughter never pointed until I painstakingly taught her how to point, at a much later age than typical babies start pointing.

Interesting



FishStickNick
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16 Jul 2012, 6:40 pm

jpaspie wrote:
Quote:
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.

I have this sort of problem too.

When I was a child, though, I was full-on selectively mute for a time. I wouldn't speak to anyone outside of my immediate family--not even my grandmother. To this day, I can go mute in certain situations (like when I'm upset about something).



DerStadtschutz
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16 Jul 2012, 6:41 pm

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.


Is that what selective mutism is? I guess I have that too then.



FishStickNick
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16 Jul 2012, 6:46 pm

DerStadtschutz wrote:
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.


Is that what selective mutism is? I guess I have that too then.


More info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_mutism
http://www.selectivemutism.org/



DerStadtschutz
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16 Jul 2012, 7:52 pm

Hmm... According to the wiki, it's not really entirely voluntary, or at least that's what I'm getting from it. My "mutism" is sorta voluntary. Like, I'd rather talk to people, but I know from experience they don't give a Scheiße, so I don't bother unless there's important info to be exchanged, or I'm really bored. I don't understand small talk at all, like why people do it. What's the point of asking "how's it going?" or "What's up?" or "sup?" or whatever the hell they say these days... if the answer is always expected to be "good," "great," "wonderful," or "not much," or again, whatever they say these days? Nobody ever wants to actually hear about anything that's bothering you, it seems. So why ask? I'm not afraid of people, I just generally don't bother with them unless I need to.

There are times I can remember as a child REALLY wanting to just say something, but I wouldn't. I don't know if it was out of fear, or it didn't seem like the right time, or what... Yeah, screw it, I'm pretty sure mine is entirely voluntary and mostly caused by environmental factors. Part of it too, is I'll have something to add to a conversation(or at least I think so...), but nobody else ever stops talking long enough for me to say it, and every time someone DOES stop, they start up again right as I'm about to speak, so I never get a chance. I'm pretty sure that's a different issue all together though.



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17 Jul 2012, 4:18 am

The kid I know with SM does not seem to do it voluntarily . In situations when he is expected or even explicitely told to speak he would be just whistling and humming and such. But speaking, no. He would point if he wanted something, though.


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Joe90
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17 Jul 2012, 12:21 pm

Mine must just be social anxiety then. I can present myself well in social situations and I do act like any other normal person, and if I get a little overwhelmed I just do it quietly, I wouldn't have a meltdown or do anything else like that, I'd just say to myself in my head, ''OK I am getting overwhelmed/bored now'' and do nothing else except carry on enduring the social situation and wishing I wasn't so shy but being afraid to act confident at the same time because of the fear of saying something wrong.


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parrow
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17 Jul 2012, 1:35 pm

I find myself in an odd spot with having a selective mute sister. I never even knew she was mute until I was told in my teens because she always talked to me. We were typical siblings playing and fighting. I learned that my grandmother never heard my sister ever speak a word her whole life except for once. My grandmother had called my mom on the phone, and I was fighting with my sister who was screaming at me. My grandma asked my mom who was screaming. And my mom says my grandma practical had a heart attack when she told her it was my sister yelling at me. It was the only time she ever heard her speak.

I don't have anything to help, but it's odd because I'm too close to the subject to be objective. It's so strange within the family because I hear people bad-mouthing my sister and talking about how freaky she is. And they are always amazed when I tell them that she has always talked to me and she seems perfectly normal to me.