Spoilers: Lily dies as Sam watches her choke in Corrie?

Sam Blakeman (Jude Riordan) will accidentally put young Lily in danger Coronation Street soon as his mutism sees him unable to call for help when she starts choking on a sweet.

As Sam continues his talking therapy, Leanne (Jane Danson) encourages Sam to write down his happy memories of his mum, but he refuses to engage and slopes off back to his room.

What is mutism, traumatic mutism and selective mutism?

The NHS definition for selective mutism is:

‘A severe anxiety disorder where a person is unable to speak in certain social situations, such as with classmates at school or to relatives they do not see very often’.

A child or adult with selective mutism does not refuse or choose not to speak at certain times, they are literally unable to speak. 

In time, the person will learn to anticipate the situations that provoke this distressing reaction and do all they can to avoid them.

Signs of mutism

The main sign a child is experiencing mutism or selective mutism is their change in ability to engage with people.

Other signs include:

  • Stillness or a frozen facial expression
  • Nervous, uneasy or socially awkward
  • Rude, disinterested
  • Shy or withdrawn

What is the difference between selective and traumatic mutism?

Selective mutism is a fear of talking to certain people. The cause isn’t always known, but it is known to be associated with anxiety.

Many children become too distressed to speak when separated from their parents and transfer this anxiety to the adults who try to settle them.

Children with traumatic mutism usually develop it suddenly in all situations. They will suddenly stop talking in environments where they previously had no difficulty.

An example of a traumatic situation for a child would be the death of a grandparent or parent. If they are unable to process the event, they may become mute in all settings.

Treatments

A GP will organise speech and language therapy for a child with mutism. It is sometimes called ‘talking therapy’.

In older children or adults, a GP may admit them to a mental health professional or an educational psychologist.

The next day, Nick (Ben Price) confides in David (Jack P Shepherd) that he’s hoping to reignite Sam’s interest in his telescope, leading to Max suggesting he and Lily could join him.

At the sight of his telescope, Sam’s face lights up, but when Nick reveals Max and Lily are on their way, his smile fades.

Thinking it’ll be fun game, Lily locks Sam out on the balcony, dangling the key in front of him.

As Lily sucks on a lollipop and taunts Sam through the glass door, the lollipop comes away from the stick, causing Lily to choke.

While Lily continues to choke, Sam watches, completely frozen to the spot.

Will he overcome his silence to save Lily?

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