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Selective Mutism

Appropriate roles for SLPs include but are not limited to:

  • educating other professionals on the needs of persons with selective mutism and the role of the SLP in diagnosing and managing selective mutism;
  • screening individuals who present with language and communication difficulties to determine the need for further assessment and/or referral for other services;
  • conducting a comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment of speech, language, and communication;
  • aiding in diagnosing the presence or absence of selective mutism with an interdisciplinary team;
  • referring to other professionals to rule out other conditions, determine etiology, and facilitate access to comprehensive services;
  • making decisions about the management of selective mutism;
  • developing treatment plans, providing treatment, documenting progress, and determining appropriate dismissal criteria;
  • counseling persons with selective mutism and their immediate and extended families regarding communication-related issues and providing education aimed at preventing further complications relating to selective mutism;
  • consulting and collaborating with other professionals, family members, caregivers, and others to facilitate program development and to provide supervision, evaluation, and/or expert testimony, as appropriate;
  • remaining informed of research in the area of selective mutism and helping advance the knowledge base related to the nature and treatment of selective mutism;
  • advocating for individuals with selective mutism and their families/caregivers at the local, state, and national levels; and
  • serving as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team working with individuals with selective mutism and their families/caregivers.

As indicated in the Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016), clinicians who serve this population should be specifically educated and appropriately trained to do so.

Content Disclaimer: The Practice Portal, ASHA policy documents, and guidelines contain information for use in all settings; however, members must consider all applicable local, state and federal requirements when applying the information in their specific work setting.