Sam's painful regret after Natasha's death in Corrie leaves him tearful

Sam Blakeman (Jude Riordan) will continue to experience regret over moments before and after Natasha Blakeman’s (Rachel Leskovac) death in Coronation Street.

After visiting the funeral parlour, Sam has suffered with mutism and hasn’t spoken to anyone since, leaving Nick (Ben Price) extremely concerned.

Nick and Leanne (Jane Danson) have organised talking therapy for Sam, but it appears his healing process will be a long one as he spots something that deeply upsets him.

George (Tony Maudsley) calls at the flat with his old telescope for Sam.

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  • Shy or withdrawn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.

Sam looks pleased until he spots the smashed memory jar on the side.

George attempts to cheer Sam up and sets up the telescope.

Meanwhile, Nick starts fretting over the memory note he read in which Sam wrote how he wished his last words to his Mum had been different.

Before Nick took Sam to the funeral parlour, he worried about the impact it would cause – will he see it as a mistake?

If George continues to help Sam, could he be the one that gets the young lad to talk again?

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