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From the child who only talks to certain people to the child who doesn’t talk at all, selective mutism has many faces. The playroom is a common place where it surfaces. But a silent child speaks without words, telling us to look below the surface at the nervous system underneath.

1:10 Lisa introduces the Lessons from the Playroom Series and asks for topic suggestions

2:30 Misconceptions about mutism

2:50 Episode 18 Lessons from the Playroom podcast

3:25 Selective mutism as an anxiety disorder

4:10 Mutism shows up in specific situations or around certain people

4:45 The correlation with shyness and social anxiety

5:00 Mutism as a symptom

5:30 Children may stay mute despite shame or repercussions

5:45 Where did the term “mute” come from?

6:25 Selective mutism isn’t about not wanting to talk

7:19 Hierarchical variations of mutism

8:24 What is progressive mutism?

9:00 Fear of embarrassment or social isolation

9:30 Sensory processing challenges and mutism

11:00 What are some common misdiagnoses?

12:00 Regression and mutism

12:50 The importance of looking at trauma

13:38 Review of the nervous system

14:53 How to work with a child who is shutting down

15:15 Lisa discusses an experience she had with a client

16:45 Never force a child to speak

19:30 Helping a child reach their chronological age

20:00 Mutism as a sign of flooding

21:24 Pause, breathe, and allow the anxious child to regulate

23:50 How are selective mutism and fear related?

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For more play therapy tips and tricks, be sure to check out our free Lessons from the Playroom Webinar series. You can register for the July 16th  (12:00 PM MST) webinar: Engaging the Resistant Child in Play Therapy here