Q: My son just turned four and we noticed that he doesn’t talk much out of the house. When we are at home he talks a lot and acts like every other child in his age. But as soon as someone outside the closest family comes close he becomes silent. He doesn’t speak, make eye contact or even nod his head. It’s like he becomes someone else. He doesn’t even talk to his grandfather anymore. It hurts so much to see him go through this. Is this selective mutism and how can I help him?

A: I understand that this must be really dificult for you and your family. It does sound like your son has selective mutism and that he experiences anxiety when pressured to talk (even though you are not actively pressuring him). It is very common for these children to talk a lot at home but as soon as you leave the home they become silent.

First of all you need to seek help for this. It is very hard to manage this without professional help from eather psykologist or speech and language pathologist.

I have written some about selective mutism here if you want advice on how to treat children with selective mutism.

On this website you can also learn more about selective mutism: