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    What is the difference between selective mutism and ‘extreme shyness’?

    Extreme shyness and selective mutism can be thought of as being on a continuum with selective mutism being a more severe condition. Shy children are generally able to respond when they are asked questions, even though it may be quietly and with very few words. Children with selective mutism have specific situations or people (particularly at school) where they are not able to respond verbally at all.