Stuck for words: A girl living with selective mutism
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Is silence golden, or a worrying phobia? Unlocking the quiet condition of selective mutism.

At home Poppy Griffin was a bright, articulate little girl – but outside she was silent. She was almost five, yet had never once talked to her aunts and uncles, her swimming or trampolining teachers, and wouldn’t utter a word to her mum, Kate, in the supermarket if anyone else was within earshot.

Kate tried getting cross, cajoling and bribing her to speak – but nothing worked, and it wasn’t until after another disastrous silent trip to a birthday party that Kate realised something might be seriously wrong. “We were on the way home and she burst into tears and said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I want to be like other children but I can’t,’ says Kate, 36, from Dover, Kent. “It was then I knew I had to find out what was behind this.”

As it turned out, Poppy was one of a growing number of children suffering from selective mutism, a phobia about talking that now affects one in 140 children, usually from the age of two to four upwards.

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/780384/selective-mutism-health-life-silence-phobia
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