SELECTIVE MUTISM EVALUATION

What will a Selective Mutism Evaluation Include?

 

Parent Intake Interview: A diagnostic interview with parents/caregivers is conducted without the child present (in-person or virtual) to help gather information about:

  • The child’s medical, developmental, and educational history

  • Environmental factors 

  • The child's amount and location of verbal expression:

    • Who does the child talk to?

    • In what circumstances is the child most likely to talk?

    • Where/what settings is the child able to speak?

    • How does the child communicate—gestures? writing? sounds? whispering? short responses? 

  • The child's symptom history (e.g., onset and behavior)

  • Family history (e.g., psychiatric, personality, and/or physical problems

 

Child Playing
Elementary Classroom

 

Child In-Person SM Observation: Dr. Bruno uses her own semi-structured observation system for assessing the child’s speech in various contrived settings. This will likely include play settings with the parent, and will slowly integrate the therapist or outside “confederate” to assess child’s verbalizations in the presence of an unknown individual. The first meeting with the child is likely to affect the success and rate of progress that will be made throughout intervention, therefore Dr. Bruno will educate the parent on using certain skills and communication strategies to help avoid triggering the child's anxiety.

 

On-Site School Observation and/or Collaboration with School Professionals: A clinical observation of the child within their classroom setting may be completed. The clinician will also speak with school personnel to discuss the child's presentation and have school professionals fill out relevant rating scales as needed. 

 

Parent Feedback/Treatment Planning: The clinician will summarize findings from the assessment, and based on the evaluation the clinician will provide a diagnosis (if applicable). The clinician may refer the family out for further evaluations (developmental pediatrician, psychiatrist, etc.). Parents will work with the clinician to determine what type of treatment would work best including parent training, in-person behavioral therapy, school consultation etc. If necessary, the clinician will also work with the school to advocate for the child and obtain appropriate help through the school district (through a 504 or an IEP).