Selective Mutism is a disorder in which an individual cannot or will not speak in a specific situation where there is an expectation of conversational speech. The individual’s communication language is generally intact. Selective Mutism can co-exist with language and communication disorders. In many cases selective Mutism is accompanied by shyness and anxiety in many cases.
I chose to write about Selective Mutism(SM) disorder because I can relate to it on a certain level. I can remember being very young and not being able to speak in public. My parents thought I was very extremely shy in the presence of strangers. The reason for my parents thinking was the fact that at home I was a clown. I would call my comfort zone my “circle” and any one that was not my parents or sister for that matter were not in my “circle”.
I can recall my 3rd grade teacher calling on me to answer a question, I could feel my face turn red and hot, my palms got sweaty and clammy and anger would come over me because she put me on the spot. I knew the correct answer, but just couldn’t get myself to say it. Now I’m not saying I had SM because my parents were ignorant to the fact that such a disorder could exist thus I was never taken to a doctor but, I am saying that the similarities of my feelings and those of individuals with SM are almost alike.
As I grew older I spoke Spanish and English intertwined and almost made no sense to any one that wasn’t Chicano (real bad Spanglish), even my parents had a hard time understanding me. I knew my fears and felt them unreasonable for instance, why am I scared to say the right answer? Why am I scared to speak up or speak to someone? These feelings carried into my teenage years, never allowing any one into my “circle” that were by now two friends that I’m still close with to this date. With this new “circle” and the help of a certain recreational drug I began to become “sociable”. I had a hard time in high school with class work because of the...