Children at Risk

Selective mutism occurs in a small number of children, probably less than 1% of children in the elementary school settings. It is not known how often children demonstrate the problem during the pre-school years. Prevalence may be higher in the pre-school years because many more children are attending preschool programs than in the past. Children who have developmental language or articulation problems and children whose first language is not English are more likely to be selectively mute. In both circumstances, children may be quiet because of concerns about accents and limited fluency.