Introduction: Selective mutism (SM) is characterized by the persistent inability to speak in some specific contexts (i.e. school, home, social contexts) or within interaction with peer group and/or adults when a normal verbal linguistic competence may be expected, according to DSM5 criteria. The main sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders are represented by difficulty in falling asleep at night (51%) and nocturnal awakenings (67%). The main goal of the present study is verify the putative relationship between sleep disorders and selective mutism in children. Materials and methods: 30 children were diagnosed with SM (13 males and 17 females) with mean age 9.47 (SD ± 1.29). The case-control group was composed by 30 typically developing children (TDC) (12 males and 18 females) (mean age 8.95; SD ± 2.01; p = 0.238). All the subjects of both groups were recruited within the same urban area, Caucasian and homogeneous in socio-economic level. SDSC questionnaire was used in order to assess the sleep habits in both groups. Results: The two groups (SM and TDC) were similar for age and gender. About the presence of reported sleep disorders, SM children show a significantly higher prevalence of reported sleep troubles than TDC subjects (Graph 1). Conclusion: The present pilot restrospective case control-study has shown the presence of sleep disorders in children with SM. This new comorbidity has not been previously reported in clinical literature.
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