Selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder where a person who is capable of speech is unable to speak in one or more situations. Usually, the person becomes mute in certain social situations or will only speak to certain people. Selective mutism is often a disorder that goes hand in hand with severe shyness and a lack of self-confidence. It can become a sure sign of social anxiety.
The disability of selective mutism can target children and adults alike, where a person fails or refuses to speak in certain conversations, group meetings or various conditions. A child may be very mute while at school and their teachers may report hardly any words or conversations taking place. Yet, that same child may be very talkative at home.
Selective mutism can interfere with the education of the child. It can also prevent an adult from advancing in the workplace and jeopardize their chances for promotion.
Do you or someone who know may have selective mutism? Help is available. You might qualify for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit and other benefits offered by the Canadian government.
Selective mutism is largely attributed to social anxiety. The root causes can develop from a wide range of factors, including an overactive part of the brain responsible for social interaction. Some children with selective mutism may have difficulty in processing sensory information.
It has been estimated that around one third of all children who have the disability of selective mutism may have language disorders, where stress builds up in the child when they are asked to speak, for example, in the classroom.
Symptoms for a patient suffering from selective mutism include:
- Difficulty making eye to eye contact with others
- Insomnia or problems with sleep patterns
- Blank expressions and unwillingness to smile
- Mood swings and depression
- Difficulty expressing how they feel
- Uncomfortable in crowds or open spaces
- Shy and embarrassed most of the time
- Inability to adapt easily to change
Disability Tax Credits for Selective Mutism
Do you suffer from selective mutism or have a family member who does? Do you know someone whose quality of life is being affected by this disability? You may be eligible for the disability tax credits and benefits from the Canadian government under the categories of mental functions and speaking. Do yourself a favour and contact us today. A HandyTax representative will be glad to help!