Quiet children and adolescents: understanding and helping youth with selective mutism

(1) * Rafika Zebdi Mail (Paris Nanterre University, France)
(2) Jessica Monsillion Mail (Université Paris Nanterre, 200 Av. de la République, 92000 Nanterre, France, France)
*corresponding author


Anxiety in children and adolescents can manifest itself in many ways. In the social context, some young people are so anxious that they find it impossible to express themselves. Selective mutism then becomes an obstacle to their development. Families, school, and clinics are often at a loss for information about this rare disorder. What are the keys to understanding and therapeutic levers?

The multiplicity of these young people's profiles will be illustrated through the clinical vignettes of Melody (3), Jeanne (8) and Sammy (15). Reliable and effective intervention strategies and tools are presented to help children regain their ability to speak.

The progress made by children who have already benefited from the help strategies which mainly combine CBT and systemic process-based interventions in individual and/or family formats, reinforces our view that these approaches deserve the interest, support and sound advice of the school.


anxiety disorder; child/adolescent; remedial education; selective mutism; socialization




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