Distinguishing Selective Mutism from Social Phobia

The following correspondence originally took place here, within the public Facebook group, “Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome“…

(replies from all third parties have been omitted for clarity)

2011-08-12 - Distinguishing Selective Mutism from Social Phobia

Anastasia M.: Anyone here who has social anxiety in addition to Asperger’s? I do and I wonder how many others do too. I ofter hear it’s quite common problem for Aspies. It’s basically fear of social situations. Anyone else thought of this?

Rayn: I have social phobia and selective mutism. They have been with me as long as I can remember.

Anastasia M.: Wait… isn’t selective mutism actually an extreme form of social phobia?

Anastasia M.: I might have it too, but they never diagnosed it, said a part of Asperger’s and social phobia, although in some situatons I definitely can’t speak and was always like that.. 😀

Rayn: As I understand it, Anastasia, social phobia and selective mutism are two separate conditions. However, up to 90% of those with selective mutism also have social phobia, so there is an undeniably strong connection between the two:

What is Selective Mutism?:
http://www.selectivemutismcenter.org/cms/what_is_selective_mutism.aspx

Either way, though, it follows sound logic to distinguish them from each other due to the fact that selective mutism is rare, unlike social phobia. Therefore, even if EVERYONE with selective mutism were to also have social phobia, not nearly all of those with social phobia would also have selective mutism.

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(All original portions of this work, by Rayn Kleipe, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, while all redistributed links, images, sounds, videos, and writings are protected under 17 U.S.C. § 107: Fair Use, or under Public Domain)

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