This is a condition, seen especially
in children, in which a person does not speak or communicate effectively in
situations where they do not feel comfortable, secure and relaxed. For instance,
a child may not speak – or indeed attempt any communication – at
school, yet do so at home with their close family. In many cases, selective
mutism can be attributed to extreme social anxiety. When it occurs with autism,
it may be part of a more fundamental communication problem.