A child or adult who has selective mutism feels really bad as they are suffering from anxiety and it gets really stressful for the child or adult to need to talk in social situations.
When a child or adult has selective mutism it means that the child or adult literally cannot speak in those social situations as the anxiety is preventing it.
My brothers teacher would always try to force my brother too talk in school but he could not do it and it was not a choice by him.
Some people believe that a child refusing to speak is doing so just because they don't want too but it's not that way.
A child who has selective mutism is unable to speak as it's not a choice.
There's nothing you can do to force the child to speak in those social situations.
Doing so makes it worse for them.
When a child or adult has selective mutism and is asked to speak it triggers a freeze and panic response and then the kid is unable to speak.
It's not something the child is choosing to do.
Children with selective mutism also may not want to sit near other kids in school or will want to play alone.
Nothing the teachers or anyone does will make the child speak.
Selective Mutism can be seen as a form of autism however most people with autism do not speak that much at home or in social situations.
However kids with selective mutism tend to just be shy and not talk in social situations around strangers such as in school, daycare, church, babysitters etc.
But at home and around parents, siblings and people they are comfortable with the child will talk just fine.
However some kids have a less severe form of autism and may seem normal otherwise but just not maintain eye contact, be uncomfortable around other people and just not want to talk.
For most people who have selective mutism the selective mutism does not go away and stays with the person for life.
However for some people selective mutism can partially go away in adulthood.
My brother has selective mutism and he was really shy in elementary school and would not talk to the teachers or anyone.
However at home where he was comfortable he would talk really good and you could hardly shut him up.
Now as an adult he does still suffer from selective mutism but his selective mutism as an adult is not that bad.
He will converse with strangers now more easily than he used too.
My own 8 year old son has selective mutism as well and he will not talk at school or around strangers but at home he is very comfortable talking.
So the selective mutism can sometimes go away but most times it does not go away.