Elective Mutism: A Tutorial
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.