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polkadotlily
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12 Feb 2017, 8:04 am

Was anyone else selectively mute as a child? I did not realise there was a term for this until recently, and just thought it was another odd quirk of mine related to ASD. After someone mentioned a friend of theirs with a child who is selectively mute, I googled it, and shortly after I realised this was me at school from grades 1-12. I only ever spoke to a very select few friends, and this was at its peak in primary school. Speaking in class? Making new friends? I would clam up completely, and if pushed or forced to speak, burst into tears. :oops:

I still very rarely speak in group settings, at all. Although more often than not, this is because I have no idea what to say or what I do have to say, I over think and then I miss the window to say it!



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12 Feb 2017, 8:10 am

polkadotlily wrote:
Was anyone else selectively mute as a child?
Yes.

I'm sure a few here on WP can relate to your experiences :D



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12 Feb 2017, 8:58 am

Is selective mutism like having the words on the tip of your tongue but not having the confidence to use them.
Is selective mutism a choice based on your anxietys and fear.
A few times in my life , usually in stressful situations , I have not been able to talk , it's like my mouth goes on strike and won't do as it's told , is this just a coping mechanism.


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Biscuitman
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12 Feb 2017, 11:18 am

I feel more comfortable not speaking when in a group environment so usually dont say much. In a one on one I am OK, if the subject matter is something I am into or know a fair bit on then I can get really chatty.

Taking a period of silence sounds like something I would quite like to do tbh, I love the sound of going a week without speaking really quite appealing. Being married, having a kid and working in an office job means maybe I will have to save that until later in life though.



Owl123
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12 Feb 2017, 11:47 am

I had this experience of selectively talking peaking at the age of 9. At school, I would only sit on my chair the whole time not unless there's a necessity for me to leave and use the comfort room. Whenever other kids would talk to me I'd just respond with a nod or a faint yes or no one question one answer.

Even at home I'd just sulk in the corner and talk a bit, often being sappy and withrawn.

I have not been diagnosed with selective mutism because at that time psychiatric help wasn't a concern for my parents. My teachers even thought that I was a very well behaved child and I'd often get praises because I do well in school.

My suspicion is that, what caused my selective mutism is the turmoils of experiences we had during my 9 years old when huge changes in our family and school setting start to happen. My sister and I have to transfer into public school because my dad being a bastard left his job as a seaman instead being sobber all the time do some drugs secretly and turning his anger onto us. All those crashing over me as a kid, and it shocked me.

I guess it was because of the great weight of anxiety and depression I've been having together with the changes and the voice within me acting as the tension which I cannot release because I have nobody to talk to at those times.

As years pass by, I improved my communication skills a bit as well as interacting with others. However even until now, at 21, I'm still having troubles with communication. Random times when I'm in a group, I just can't utter a word except if I'm spoken to. People ask me often "WHY ARE YOU SO QUIET? WHY AREN'T YOU TALKING?" and it kicks the hell out of me. It really does happen. But I hate small talks and I literally don't know how to respond to some of their small talks.

I speak in a slow soft monotonous voice eversince. I've taken few videos of myself talking to self-coach myself and I was horrified at the reality of my facial expressions and voice quality. I wish there could be other things to help me, but my family can't provide me enough for a decent speech therapy.

So yeah, til now I only talk to certain people and only if I'm asked or if my great anxiety kicks in I couldn't speak at all.

I don't know if any of those I mentioned is an aspie thing, cos if it is, then I can say it's Comorbid with Borderline Personality Disorder and Passive Agressive, Major Depressive Disorder which I am professionally diagnosed.



248RPA
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12 Feb 2017, 5:42 pm

I remember not speaking in certain situations, to the point that people thought I either didn't speak English, or didn't speak at all. Don't know if that counts. I've never really considered it through the perspective of selective mutism before. Anyway, I think I grew out of it around the age of 12.


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12 Feb 2017, 8:35 pm

Me personally, no, but a relative is.

I knew a kid at school who was mute, but I don't know if this was selective or not. He used to make noises when stimming. He began talking in Year 6 and I was pretty taken aback by how fluent he sounded despite believing him to be absolutely unable to speak.


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burnt_orange
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13 Feb 2017, 9:39 am

I had this and maybe still do a touch. I just learned the phrase for it couple years ago, after watching Big Bang Theory lol. Same thing as you, mostly at school. I guess there are till many times when i cannot open my mouth to speak. It doesn't bother me much anymore though. School is a difficult time, lots of pressure. Now I have less social interactions.



Trekkie83
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13 Feb 2017, 11:23 am

polkadotlily wrote:
Was anyone else selectively mute as a child? I did not realise there was a term for this until recently, and just thought it was another odd quirk of mine related to ASD. After someone mentioned a friend of theirs with a child who is selectively mute, I googled it, and shortly after I realised this was me at school from grades 1-12. I only ever spoke to a very select few friends, and this was at its peak in primary school. Speaking in class? Making new friends? I would clam up completely, and if pushed or forced to speak, burst into tears. :oops:

I still very rarely speak in group settings, at all. Although more often than not, this is because I have no idea what to say or what I do have to say, I over think and then I miss the window to say it!


This pretty much describes me, except for the bursting into tears part.



polkadotlily
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14 Feb 2017, 1:59 am

Ohh thanks everyone for sharing your experiences! I find this all very interesting, and I now wonder why I never had a proper diagnosis of it...not that it matters now. It seems like the world knows so much more about ASD and related conditions these days, than back when I was first diagnosed, which is so good :heart:
I can related so much to all the comments, thanks very much for sharing everyone :D



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14 Feb 2017, 3:11 am

I've been diagnosed with selective mutism. I've had years of speech therapy. Part of that is also due to apraxia of speech. I mainly communicate through making gestures and texting. I'm thankful I've grown up in a generation that prefers texting over talking. I understand the tears part. I've been in tears during many speech therapy sessions. I can read words out loud, repeat stuff, say single words like yes, no, okay etc, but I am unable to have a regular verbal conversation with anyone.



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14 Feb 2017, 3:55 am

Yes.


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14 Feb 2017, 9:39 am

I used to have this in my teens, wouldn't talk to anyone and had a friend do it for me. Then one day I stopped giving a s**t and started being really loud and just stopped caring what people think of me. I think this is because I had a near death experience though and witnessed someone else die so something in me just kinda snapped. I got sooo angry, I still am pretty angry as a person in general I guess so that kinda fuels my confidence cause I won't take crap from anyone now.

Truth is most people don't care and are more bothered about themselves. I would say, stay away from places where they like to have a popularity contest and show off, passionate people are better because they enrich your life and give you confidence to speak up.

For me it was that I was too self conscious and thought everyone was judging me so I never said anything ever but now I don't care, I go to put the bins out for the bin men in my jammies and shout at them if they leave crap on my lawn haha. I guess you just have to find a resolution for yourself, everyone is different and it will take some figuring out. I think part of it is overthinking way too much and really just occupy yourself with something else to take your mind off whatevers bothering you cause constant overthinking will totally knock your confidence back from what I found.


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14 Feb 2017, 10:55 am

I think that I had selective mutism as a kid for just a year, when I started kindergarten (at the age of 4).
I used to go to a school which is not quite near home and didn't know anybody there. I remember I was so overwhelmed with my thoughts and imagination that either I was not able to see/hear what other kids were doing or saying or my mind would race too much and I wouldn't be able to pronounce the words. I was, however able to speak to the teacher when other kids were not around.
Then my parents changed my school (not because they cared about this, because they couldn't afford it) and I went to another kindergarten where the other kids were all coming from my neighborhood so i was able to speak once again but this time the school was crowded, the kids were evil and the activities were low-level so it made temper tantrums and crying spells began.



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14 Feb 2017, 3:43 pm

Yep. I have selective mutism... it was most problematic for me as a child, though it did happen as a teen and still happens now and then. Last time I went mute was about a month or two ago. I was rather stressed.


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