Incorporating Technology Into the Treatment of a 17-Year-Old Female With Selective Mutism
Abbreviated Journal Title
Clin. Case Stud.
selective mutism; treatment; social skills; SOCIAL PHOBIA; ELECTIVE MUTISM; BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT; ANXIETY DISORDER; CHILDREN; PREVALENCE; Psychology, Clinical; Psychiatry
Selective mutism (SM) is a relatively rare disorder and is most commonly found among young children. Children and adolescents presenting with SM and its associated features (e.g., social anxiety, social skills deficits) are often challenging to treat, and recent data suggest that SM is characterized by heightened levels of autonomic arousal, often coupled with behavioral avoidance. In this report, we present the case of Nina, a 17-year-old Caucasian female diagnosed with comorbid SM and social anxiety disorder. Standard intervention designed to treat social anxiety disorder (i.e., intensive exposure based on an extinction paradigm) met with a minimal response and no changes in speech behavior. Reconceptualization of the treatment approach led to a decision to focus directly on speech using a graduated exposure (desensitization) paradigm. To create an emotional response incompatible with anxiety, initial desensitization sessions used Apple iPad applications that allowed for engagement in amusing tasks and the pairing of vocalization with positive emotions. Traditional social skills training constituted the final treatment component. Advantages and limitations associated with the various treatment modalities used are discussed as well as recommendations for future clinical research.
Clinical Case Studies
"Incorporating Technology Into the Treatment of a 17-Year-Old Female With Selective Mutism" (2013). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 3749.