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How Shy Is Too Shy?

Identifying selective mutism and social anxiety

Clinical Expert: Raquel Cumba, PhD

en Español

If your child talks up a storm at home but doesn’t say a word at school, she may have an anxiety disorder called selective mutism. Raquel Cumba, PhD, discusses how selective mutism is different from shyness, and how the inability to speak that comes with SM is not the same as (but can co-occur with) the severe discomfort of social anxiety disorder.

This article was last reviewed or updated on December 5, 2023.