I too am pleased that your daughter has been adequately diagnosed. The sooner, the better.

Your question regarding medication in your 2 3/4 year old is a difficult one to answer. Yes, children have been treated as young as your daughter, I personally have never treated a child this young. Let me explain a few things to you.The medications physicians tend to use for SM are the seratonin-reuptake inhibitors; mainly Prozac. Other similar medications, Paxil, Zoloft, and Luvox are also being used in more frequency now. Unfortunately, none of these drugs have been adequately tested in young children, and we do not know the long term affects of these medications, simply because these medications have only been on the market for about 12 years. But based on preliminary studies, physicians are assuming these medications are safe to use in children. But again, we are just assuming!

I do use these medications in practice, and have had excellent results. I must say though, I am a bit hesitant with your young child.She really is so very young, she is only 2 3/4 years old.I understand your concerns and need for urgency in her treatment, but I would use medication as a last resort in this case; simply because she is so young.There are many children that do not talk at her age, and then slowly over the next year, begin to talk and come out of their SM. I am hoping this happens with your daughter

My advice, at this time, is to try the play therapy, it has been proven to work, especially in young children.Also, engage your child in as many social events as possible, have playdates with school mates, and please,and I repeat, PLEASE, try not to talk about her mutism in front of her. You would be surprised how many children hear their parents, teachers and friends talk about them as ‘unable to talk’, and truly begin to see themselves as non-talkers! Try and just encourage her to verbalize in public, ask her questions in front of others, even just one word answers at first. Try and be patient, and give her some time, if in a year, by almost 4 if she truly has made no improvements, then yes, I would encourage medication. You would be surprised how many young children do ‘come out of it’ by four, and the ones that do not, we take a more aggressive approach.

Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum