100 comments

  1. I found out in my late 50s that what I'm experiencing that's "a lot like autism only not" is actually autism. And as I learn different symptoms and comorbidities, I'm over here saying, "I used to do that!" (or, "I do that!") Selective mutism is one. When I was in kindergarten I didn't speak there for 4 or 5 months (I was fine at home,) and at first it was due to severe anxiety; after awhile partly it was just because I was "that kid that doesn't talk," as if that was my role, my function. I talk a LOT now, but if I'm in a place where I really would prefer not to talk, I do tend to stammer pretty badly. I hate that….

  2. I have had selective mutism all my life.

    I was worse as a kid and a teenager.

    But I still have it to this day. And sometimes it's so random I don't fully understand why I sometimes am okay and other times suddenly I can't even say the simplest of things like, "Hello," To someone.

    I go to nature reserves a lot and a lot of people as they walk past, they'll say "Hello," or "Morning" at most I can manage a sort of mumbled, quiet hello back. At worst I don't respond at all. I just can't seem to.

    I freeze up is the right term. It is like that. Even If I have words in my head that I know I can say, I freeze up so I can't say it. Even though sometimes only 10 minutes ago I've managed to say hello to someone else further up the path! I don't know what it is.

    And sometimes someone will ask me a question, and sometimes I can answer it relatively easy. Other times it's really, really hard to muster up the words and get them out of my mouth. Of course if I don't speak at that point, it seems more rude than the times I don't say hello to someone. Because even though the "Hello" people will see me as rude when a person has asked you a direct question, it's even ruder not to answer isn't?" Sometimes in those moments, I manage to muster up an answer that is simple as "no" or "Yes" but I can't seem to say anything else. Which comes across as a person without manners. Sometimes I find myself whispering "thank you" once I'm further away from the person, even though the person won't hear me or whispering, please. Or I'll have a delayed response and whisper thanks or please near them after they've already moved on from the initial question and answer.

  3. My son has not been officially diagnosed, we believe he fell through the cracks for diagnosis throughout school years but he says that his throat tightens up especially when he gets around people that he has to have conversation with. He thinks it’s some kind of thyroid issue but I truly believe it’s part of social anxiety and his Aspergers/HFA (No official diagnosis. Only a counselors confirmation that the symptoms are there). What are your thoughts on it?

  4. A question kinda off topic but when you absolutely have to be in large groups or crowds how do you deal with it without triggering meltdowns or panic attacks? Also great video!

  5. I’m in Wrexham north wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
    I have recently been diagnosed with adhd and asd and I’m 34

  6. I have aspergers and i'm a teenage girl in school. Sometimes when I talk to even my best friend or my family i have selective mutism and I hate it, I just wanna be able to talk to people.

  7. My experience has been more on a combination on sensory overload as well as social anxieties and having to be doing something that I have never been taught to do like public speaking. I also have times where my emotions control how I feel where I get that feeling and it will make me angry cause I can stop it then in a mediphorical way im like stuck behind a wall of windows that allows no speech out all the while on the outside ill have no emotion on my face or a face of not paying attention while my sensory overload makes it to bright or loud or hear also sometime I can have overwhelming smells, more likely cause im a cook by trade, most the time I will ignore most these problems but with ignoring things I tend to make people feel like im not accounting for there presence in the places I should.

  8. If I'm stressed or don't want to deal with talking I totally go mute…I can still hear them my mouth just refuses to move and say words.

  9. I have severe selective mutism to the point where I have a meltdown everytime I try to push myself to speak..specifically in legal or important situations, it gets harder then…so now my mom accompanies me whenever I need to make appointments or anything big like that because sometimes I open my mouth but only sounds come out or nothing at all….it's so embarrassing when the person I'm trying to talk to has no clue what to say/do…anyway, thanks for this video, it made me feel better about who I am and the therapy I can seek out for this thing that's been tormenting me since childhood 😣

  10. I can definitely relate to this when I think back to my teenage years and early adulthood: the weird thing is, it changed by itself, to the point where I can work as a teacher and even have to stop myself from talking too much instead of encouraging my students to do most of the talking. There are still some social situations that make me anxious to the point where it gets hard to talk, but they've dwindled to a minimum, and I no longer feel compelled to communicate most of my more complex feelings via elaborate letters.

  11. Got selective mutism at the age of 3. I dont have problems talking anymore, but i have very big problems with anxiety and i still experiense the freeze-reaction with my body even though i can talk. I am 20 now and its still such a big problem, i cant even get a job. I struggle a lot finding information about adults with these problems. At its worst i didnt even talk to my grandparents or wanted to throw a ball in front of others. I think i grew out of the problem, however didnt get rid of the extreme anxiety and stress i always felt. I think the lack of help made my anxeity build up and become such a big problem for me, and now i feel like im getting depressed. Waited for therapy for over 6 months now and nothing is happening 🙁 Im from Norway if it has anything to say. I am also a person that worries a lot, and i cant seem to ever relax or get away from my own thoughts. If anyone knows anything that can help me, i would appreciate it soo much.

  12. Is it selective mutism when I just get quiet with just a few people, I am a personal Pilates instructor and I feel comfortable with some of my clients but there’s people that just drains all of my energy and I just don’t want to talk , I have to because I have to give the instructions but I try my best to not talk too much. But there are times when I feel like nauseous and lightheaded.
    Is that selection mustism?

  13. I get this a lot. Especially if someone is having a loud conversation next to me and someone is trying to talk to me, i get agitated and wait until they've finished because i can't speak over them it's like my brain shuts off 😩

  14. My friends "Why don't you talk to us? We didn't know you needed help!"
    This explains so much for me. Sometimes I just can't.

  15. Love you! I wish I could go to UK. (I’m a California n) sucks here. Besides the weather . Lol.

    What’s up with people that dislike videos, especially ones that try to help. Shame on them.

  16. i have had selective mutism for a really long time i only talk to my family and two of my friends and no one else. i often wanna talk to everyone but my words are just not coming out

  17. I’m wondering if my son (12yrs old) has selective mutism. But his issues are only with adults, particularly adults he doesn’t know well or any adult he doesn’t know at all like a waiter, dentist, cashier etc. If strange adults speak to him ,he just glares at them and doesn’t say a word, completely frozen. I’ve asked him why he does this and he says he’s embarrassed. He literally refuses to speak to any strange adult and even adults he knows a little well, like family, he speaks minimally to. Kids his age on the other hand, he has no problems at all talking to them.

  18. I've always been known as shy, my mum would always introduce me as shy. Today I'm OK at answering questions with simple "yes/no", " OK" "cool" type answers, but I wouldn't be able to start a conversation even if its an emergency, unless its with my best friend or my girlfriend. If I'm riding the bus (or going to busy stores etc.) with my girlfriend I become mute even with her, resorting to my simple answers

  19. Got no marketable skills?
    Don't worry!
    You can self-diagnose yourself into the oppression Olympics! Get the attention you crave without wasting effort developing as a person. . .

  20. I’m watching from Edmonton Alberta Canada. I love your videos! My 10 year old daughter is on the spectrum. My daughter struggles greatly with this. Thank you for all your informative videos! 🙏❤️

  21. This is totally me. In some situations I can talk nonstop. In others, I am completely paralyzed, frozen, and can't think of ANYTHING to say. The worst situations have been on first dates, or at parties. Thanks for your work.

  22. In situations like dropping off or picking up my son from school, kids would smile and wave and say,” Hi (…….)” you would expect for him to at least smile or nod his head acknowledging that they spoke to him, but instead he’ll look away or ignore them. He generally comes off as shy or rude. Is this a aspergers type behavior?

  23. I can see this in me. I was socially awkward as a young guy though it got easier. My younger brother would make friends and I would try to join in. People would described me as reserved and anxious or rude. I would mostly sit and wait for a conversation that I could take part in; if I felt comfortable enough to do so. I can host parties. I can listen and give relative advice to a point. I can have really great one on ones every now and then. But I still find it difficult to talk about something I want to talk about even if it is something small or a joke. I will want to say something for hours and won’t. Or I will be so anxious that I can’t think properly and just let the other person take over. If you think you have an issue the first place I start is seeing the pattern clearly then testing possible solutions. Find someone you trust that you can talk to as well. And remember don’t panic.✌️

  24. Selective mutism is a big issue for me. Silence seems to be a sucker punch for any kind of friendship or relationship. It can be very isolating. I have very few friends. Autism is at times mentally exhausting. Sometimes it's the situation sometimes it's just the person.

  25. I remember when I was in middle school and I would struggle with something I would just stay quite I couldn't ask for help. Or when the teacher knew I knew the answers but I wouldn't put my hand up and he wouldn't know why.

  26. ive only had the diagnosis for under two years now but even that has helped a lot. sometimes when i talk i just feel like i have a physical blockage preventing me from speaking. not even anything too social. a few moths ago i got "locked" when trying to tell my friend over the phone something simple like my favorite movie. and the longer it goes on the worse it gets. its harder to "unlock" after several minutes of being mute than it is after a few seconds. when i started seeing a psyciarist i couldnt speak at all for months. i had to write down whatever i wanted to say but at one point i finally managed to say a few words and it became gradually easier over time. now i only get locked a few times a month when it used to be few times a day

  27. I’m ADHD and dyslexic as well. I have such a fascination for these things. My boyfriend is selectively mute and has been sense he was little (he’s 16) and he’s a very social person but is not able to speak in social environments. Please do more videos on this subject. I love learning about it

  28. Can selective mutism also be a thing about language itself and memory?
    For exemple for a few years I stoped reading books, and drank too much alcool (self-treatment to social anxiety) and smoked (it did not end well ^_^), and I had "lost" a big part of my vocabulary and could not finish a sentence or have a proper conversation. But when I read, I suddenly am able to talk again and very often adopt the style of the genre I'm reading. Also, I learned to speak english only by watching movies but I don't know the grammar (I'm french and I don't know french grammar either).
    I also lose my ability to speak when someone is yelling, and last thing, when I have to talk to someone who seems to have nothing in common with me, my brain goes totally blank, I have no idea what to say and it is very awkward!

  29. Watching from Virginia, USA. This is interesting. When my anxiety is high, I can't talk. When I try, my mouth may open but I can't get a word started. It's happened pretty much as far back as I can recall. I've thought that maybe it was a learning/speech disability as I was diagnosed by the school system with a learning disability in elementary school or maybe related to my tics as the more I try to speak, the worse I tic. I'll be going to a mental health office next month for the first time in my life. I'm looking forward to getting diagnosed so that I can expand on my self taught coping mechanisms and be able to deal with the world a little better. I feel like a diagnosis will give me back power in my life and make this world make a little more sense.

  30. I’m in Winfield Illinois. My daughter is on the spectrum & I watch your videos to try to understand her better. Thank you!

  31. I have this. Theres times I'm mute because I'm so overwhelmed and stressed and tired that I just shut down. I'm learning sign language to help communicate when I am mute and just because learning new things distracts me from all my problems

  32. It probably is better to define it as a choice not to engage, rather than an inability? If there is to be a possibility of changing it I mean…

  33. I know I have selective mutism and I feel like the whole world hates me because of this disorder and I feel like I come off as arrogant and rude when I really don't mean to be. I know there's way bigger problems out there and this is just petty complaining XD

  34. So how would you compare selective mutism to the temporary non-verbal reaction that can occur in a sensory shutdown/meltdown? Or are they the same thing just shutdowns/meltdowns being a trigger?

  35. I’ve struggled with this my whole life, but in high school I would try to push through it a lot and just say whatever even though it was incredibly hard to speak or to communicate in general. I would end up saying whatever and it would never be what I wanted to say, because I really didn’t want to say anything actually. I made myself do that because I knew people thought I was weird for being so quiet.

  36. I'm from Sweden. This is really interesting, because I never imagined that I could have Selective Mutism but this is way too relatable xD

  37. Watching from Kansas, USA. I think this is what my daughter is doing. She is 9 and has ASD, ADHD. Thanks for sharing this! :).

  38. Watching from California. My gosh, this man is a brilliant member of the neurodiversity community. Dyslexia, ADHD, OCD and Asperger's? There has to be a reason for God to gift a person with all of these cognitive differences at once.

  39. its annoying when people say things about it and say its easy to talk when for me its not. the only way they would know is if they actually experienced it

  40. I have aspergers and adhd, but I've never been diagnosed with selective mutism, so I'm not too sure of what it is happening, but here's my experience: In a group, the biggest the worse it is, also it's worse with new people or if there's a lot of stimuli. Like the part of my brain that I need to access in order to use my social skills is no longer available, it's like trying to access the right memory, but staring into really deep fog instead. But I can still participate physically, like enjoying the food. If someone talks to me, I can talk back, as they usually carry the conversation for me.

    The second instance is if I try to push through a conversation that feels too hard (like I'm trying to talk about my grandmother dying to my therapist). Then I just plain freeze, in addition of going mute, I can't even make eye contact or acknowledge their presence, trying to snap out of it feels like I'm trying to to pull a car on neutral.

    Anyway, unpleasant.

  41. I'm honestly amazed at people that can just talk and talk and talk to anyone about anything. I feel really bad when people are trying to have a conversation with me and I can barely contribute. I hate that I probably come off as rude and disinterested but I blank or if I can find words I question on whether they make sense or are appropriate. I feel slow. I have an easier time conversing over text. I know I was better at communicating in my youth and growing more isolated as an adult has made me rusty.

  42. Hi 🙂! My son started kindergarten Sept 2019 and he is a completely different person at school. Talks nonstop at home and at school he doesn't talk at all. I started googling how he acts there and how to help him and SM popped up. Now I'm watching and reading everything I can to learn more about it. Watching from New Jersey USA 🇺🇸

  43. Sometimes I feel like I have to prime and inspire myself to say hi and talk to others if necessary. I feel this though. I realize I am unable to say something when I feel I am expected to sometimes. Makes me feel like an asshole or ignoring even though I am not trying to be one. I have been wondering for some time now if I am avoidant or have autistic tendencies or both. I'm not sure though since I've noticed a decline in my capability to socialize since 8th grade, then again I've been attracted to games and would spend inordinate sums of time either playing games or watching tv, I somewhat still am to this day. Didn't really help having an older brother that would torment me either, I suppose. Maybe also it would have helped to have a little more self awareness when I was younger, I feel like I went through high school on auto pilot for most of the time.

    I can relate to most of what other people have commented here.

  44. Oh yes I have selective mutism…Im the queen for it…I'm 56 years old, been doin it my whole life…the time I remember it beginning is when my dad died when I was 4 1/2 yrs old and from then on I realized I really didn't want to talk to others. I'm an only child of an single mom (whom died 15 yrs ago). Kinda forcing me into a bubble for my childhood…i still don't communicate my needs to others as much as I would like to…..btw I have dyslexia as well. Anyways thanks for sharing

  45. God bless you bro♡
    So much help and useful info!
    Im in KL here Malaysia
    And i wish this was more common knowledge amongst Asian culture
    Thank you for every 1 of your videos…..
    G.B.

  46. In social situations, the first thing I notice people love to create groups and keep on talking about xyz? Then I can see alll these groups and I just freeze- I can’t get myself to say anything but just stand there be really awkward ….

  47. God I wish I could’ve just “Grown out of it”. It sucks being a 36 yr old who’s never had friends or a girlfriend.

  48. I just wanted to point out that I don't see/haven't found reasons for a high correlation of selective mutism to social anxiety: https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/what-is-social-anxiety
    There are distinct differences.

  49. Okay so I wasn't diagnosed, however I sort of theorized that I have selective mutism.
    I am 17 years old and I can talk, however I can only talk around my friend (the closest friend I have in school whom I love like my sister) and around my therapist. I have a hard time speaking around people, like in school and around people I'm not familiar with, even around my own family. There are days where I'm more talkative than others, however most days I'm more internal. I am diagnosed with social anxiety, so I think it might just be part of that, but I'm not exactly sure (hence why I'm looking it up). When I have to talk in situations, my voice usually goes inaudible and sometimes I stutter or my sentence will be choppy (mixing up words, talking too fast, etc.) There are times I'm absolutely afraid to talk and there are times I can talk fine (I also suffer from depression, also diagnosed, and most days that Im depressed that's when I'm more internal and quiet, as opposed to days that my depression isn't there I'm more talkative)

  50. I don't have ASD, I have ADHD but I know I've experienced selective mutism before but I'd already classified it in my head as a panic attack, especially thinking back to what might've caused me not being able to talk and closing in

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