SMart Center Conferences
Selective Mutism in the School
About the Conference:
Children suffering from selective mutism (SM) manifest social communication deficits based on the setting and expectations from others within a setting. Parents, therapists and school staff are often perplexed as to how to help the mute child. Dr. Shipon-Blum, an expert in treating children and adolescents with SM and developer of Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), conceptualizes SM as a social communication anxiety disorder where not speaking merely skims the surface of the difficulties children with SM face. Dr. Shipon-Blum has found that children with SM can make significant progress and transition to verbal communication when provided with a comprehensive treatment that focuses on the whole child and improving the child’s social communication and engagement skills.
The school environment is most often the setting where children present as mute. Progress in the therapy room and home will not automatically generalize to the educational setting without the implementation of specific treatment goals and adult facilitation from educational staff. The treatment of SM in the school setting requires a team approach involving the clinician, parents, and educational staff. Through collaboration and consistent implementation of specific treatment strategies and goals, children with SM can transition to verbal communication in the school setting.
This presentation will review the importance of the initial evaluation and assessment process that are critical in developing an effective treatment plan for a child with SM Next, the impact of SM on a childs academic performance and ability to make progress and the need for accommodations and services through an Individualized Education Program or 504 Plan are discussed. A review of common comorbid disorders (e.g., speech and language disorder, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, etc.) seen in children with SM and sample accommodations and interventions to address these challenges in the school setting will also be discussed. Finally, the presentation will identify and describe effective treatment strategies and interventions in treating SM in the school setting.
Dr. Shipon-Blum’s treatment has helped thousands of children and young adults overcome selective mutism, social anxiety, extreme shyness, etc.
Main Learning Objectives:
- How to assess the mute child/teen to develop an effective treatment and school-based accommodation/intervention plan within school.
- How to assess learning & achievement
- Co-morbid disorders that are often factors into the development and maintenance of Selective Mutism as well as how these comorbid disorders affect treatment and school-based accommodations and strategies within the school.
- Considerations for special education and how to classify children with SM and related social communication challenge for the most effective school accommodation/intervention plan.
- How to develop 504 and IEP plans using evidence-based strategies to help the child/teen become social and verbal within the classroom
- Step-by-step strategies and techniques for teachers/staff to use to help the child with SM, social anxiety, shyness, etc. develop peer relationships and speak within the class setting
- Review of videos and case studies to demonstrate key concepts used to help the child expand communication within school.
- Audience questions to our expert speakers to help with cases.
Who Should attend? Teachers, school personnel, treating professionals and interested parents can gain insight and practical strategies from top experts for dealing with SM, social anxiety, extreme shyness. etc.
ASHA CEU’s and CBPS CE’s available!
7:45 AM: Registration Desk Opens
8:15 AM: Welcome!
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Golden Rules and Key Philosophies for Assessing and Treating the Child/Teen with Selective Mutism
Presenter: Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum
Description: This presentation will provide an overview of Selective Mutism (SM) and the impact in the school setting. It will begin with providing an understanding SM as a social communication anxiety disorder, as well as a description of how to use the Social Communication Bridge® to develop an effective treatment and school accommodation/intervention plan. The overall key philosophies and golden rules in treating SM using the evidence-based S-CAT® assessment and treatment process will be emphasized to set the stage for helping the child progress into speech.
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Assessing Communication in Children with Selective Mutism
Presenters: Evelyn Klein, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL & Sharon Armstrong, Ph.D
Description: This session provides components and strategies of a validated approach to assessing communication skills in children with Selective Mutism (SM). The presenters share an innovative process used to assess speech and receptive/expressive language abilities in children with SM. Research results comparing findings from traditional and modified assessment practices are highlighted.
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM: Break
10:45 AM – 11:15 AM: Psychoeducational & Neuropsychological Testing for Children/Teens with Selective Mutism
Presenter: Rosemarie Manfredi, Psy. D
Description: This presentation will review the components of psychoeducational and neuropsychological evaluations and how they can be useful for individuals with Selective Mutism. The circumstances or situations in which psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluations may be most helpful in developing appropriate treatment plans will be discussed. Finally, the strategies that may be used in conducting a psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation of a child or teen with SM will be summarized.
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Addressing Co-morbid Conditions in the School Setting Through 504/IEP Plans
Presenter: Rosemarie Manfredi, Psy. D
Description: This presentation will begin with an overview of the conditions and disorders that commonly occur with SM and how to recognize and identify them, including extreme shyness and timid temperament, social anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral challenges, sensory processing problems, developmental and intellectual delays and disabilities, learning disabilities, and bilingualism. The presentation will highlight the importance of a comprehensive evaluation in order to help ensure that comorbid conditions are not missed, misdiagnosed, or over-identified. Finally, the presentation will provide an overview of accommodations for each of these comorbid conditions and how they can be incorporated in a 504 or IEP Plan in the school environment.
12:15 PM 1:15 PM: Lunch
1:15PM – 2:45 PM: Tips & Strategies to Help Children From Preschool to High School Speak in the School Setting
Presenters: Jennifer Brittingham, M.A. & Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum
Description: Strategies will be discussed to help children with Selective Mutism improve their ability to communicate within the school environment given their individual level of comfort, stage of communication, age and grade. Video demonstrations will be provided to offer step by step evidenced-based strategies to help the child progress into speech with their peers, their teachers and within groups.
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM: Break
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Case Studies/Professional Panel Discussion
Panel Members: Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum;Sharon Armstrong, Ph.D.; Evelyn Klein, PhD., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL; Jennifer Brittingham, M.A.
Description: Case studies will be presented to assist participants put it all together. Key concepts will be enhanced through video analysis and panel discussion as the child with SM is viewed holistically. Methods and examples for the development of accommodations/interventions for children with SM and Social Communication anxiety will be provided.
Reminder: 6 ASHA CEU’s offered
All conference participants will receive a certificate of attendance for no additional fee; however, for professionals needing continuing education credits for licensure there will be a $10 processing fee paid during registration or at the conference. You can also do so by contacting us by phone (215-886-6090) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subj: conference, date of conference) so that you can supply your payment information.
This Conference has been approved for up to 6 hours of Continuing Education credits for the following professionals:
Speech and Language Pathologists/Audiologists:
The SMart Center is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology & audiology. This program is offered for up to .6 CEU s (Intermediate level, Professional area). ASHA CE Provider approval doesn’t imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.
American Psychological Association (APA) credits:
Pending sponsorship. Details coming soon!
School Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, MFT’s:
This training is co-sponsored by Chesapeake Beach Professional Seminars to provide 6 CE hours/0.6 Clock Hours.
ACT 48 credits (PA Teachers):
We proudly support Pennsylvania teachers!
ACT 48 Continuing education credits will be available!
This course provides 6 Professional Development Hours. Certificates of Attendance will be awarded to participants who attend the entire workshop and complete the evaluation form. Partial credits will not be awarded. Late arrival or early departure will preclude awarding of CE credits.
Cancellations must be made in writing up to 2 weeks prior to date of conference. Registration fees will not be refunded for cancellations (including medical emergencies) 2weeks prior to conference date. NO exceptions can be made.
For those in need of funding to attend the Selective Mutism ‘In the School’ Conference, identify appropriate agencies or private foundations to approach.
*If you are unable to find funding and are in need of financial assistance*,
please contact us at email@example.com
Subject line: Assistance needed
Read below about HOW to approach agencies or private foundations for full scholarships including travel expenses.
(**Hosts for Hospitals provides very low cost housing while traveling for the conference or treatment).
There are a variety of governmental and private agencies and foundations that may have funds available to support the expenses of families and individuals who wish to attend the Selective Mutism In the School Conference
Most funders have specific and well-established areas of interest around which they offer grants. The first step in securing funding is to find those whose interests are a good match with your needs. If you don’t already have relationships with local parenting and advocacy agencies, and you don’t know which might fund children, youth, and family issues, go to your public library. Most libraries have directories which list foundations by region and funding interests. The reference librarian can offer assistance in your search.
*The following are suggestions of types of agencies that may have funds for conference support. The SMart Center cannot guarantee that funding proposals will be accepted.*
Here are some suggested agencies:
- Your states Developmental Disability Council
- Your states Commission on Children and Youth
- University Affiliated Program in your state (Center for Learning and Leadership)
- Your states National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter
- Your states National Mental Health Association (NMHA) chapter
- State and/or local Parent to Parent agencies or Parenting Advocacy Networks
After you identify potential funders, call the foundation or agency office and ask whether they might have funds available to help families and individuals attend conferences for parents of children with special needs.
Be realistic about timing.
If your aim is to have funds in time for an SM Conference, you should begin the proposal process ASAP. If your proposal is accepted, it can take from 2-6months from the time you submit a request to the time an agency releases the funds you’ve requested. You should ask the agency or foundation how long it will take and whether there is a deadline for applications.
Writing your request.
Shape your request according to the guidelines you receive from the agency. Some are very specific about the kinds of information they want and how they want it organized; others provide little information and let the applicant determine what is relevant.
The proposal is an opportunity to marshall an argument that supports your attendance at the conference.
What to include in your proposal:
(Below is a typical outline of a funding proposal)
1. Cover letter.
Include the amount of your request. If you have anyone with connections to this funder, mention those names if appropriate. i.e., Betty Jones, a counselor at my childs elementary school, encouraged me to seek funding for&
2. Cover sheet.
Include your name, address, phone number, etc.
Summarize the amount requested and the purpose, objectives, rationale, and expected outcomes from your conference attendance.
Tie these to the foundations areas of interest (e.g. to learn about how to participate in my child’s educational plan to accommodate her special needs or to learn how to form a support group in my area for parents of children with anxiety disorders).
5. Background Information.
Include background information as needed, depending on the foundations familiarity with family support and your organization.
If you want to submit a more streamlined proposal or if there is a page limit, some of this material could be attached as an Appendix.
6. Appendices(as needed).
Other documents as requested by the foundation (e.g. print the registration page, Selective Mutism In the School Conference overview, etc. from the website).
Requesting Support to Attend The Selective Mutism In the School Conference:
My name is (your name here) and I am the (parent, grandparent, teacher, etc) of a child who suffers from the anxiety disorder, Selective Mutism. I am requesting (amount you will need)to attend the Selective Mutism In the School Conference (list city and date) The Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center is well-known across the globe as a premier center for children suffering from Selective Mutism. Children with Selective Mutism suffer from aform of social anxiety which severely affects their ability to communicate in select environments (often school and other social settings) despite their ability to communicate normally when in comfortable environments such as the home. Information and support for these children and families is not easily found, and misunderstandingand inappropriate management of these children is common. With the correct treatment, support and understanding, children and adolescents can overcome their communication anxiety and live normal, productive lives. The Selective Mutism Conference is the only event of its kind to provide an opportunity for families and professionals to learn more about this disorder and to come together for support and understanding.
As a (parent, grandparent, teacher etc) of a child with Selective Mutism, I feel that (I, my family)would benefit greatly from attending this unique conference. The theme of the conference is Ridding the Silence One Step at a Time. The content of the presentations and seminars will give a clear direction to those seeking help for selectively mute children, and will include information about educational advocacy for the special needs of these children, as well as activities for the children themselves to learn and interact in a supportive atmosphere.
Description of the Conference
Based on previous conferences and interest, SMart Center expects to attract at least 125-175 participants. This conference brings parents,educators and treating professionals as well as other individuals affected by Selective Mutism from all over the US and other countries together with the professionals who serve them. Such a forum is useful as the experience and knowledge of parents and other individuals receive equal consideration to that of professionals. The conference is designed to provide education and information about SM to assist attendees in designing family and school based treatment interventions for selectively mute children. Additionally, the conference provides an opportunity for those affected by SM to receive emotional support from others in similar circumstances.
The Selective Mutism In the School Conference is designed to bring families affected by SM ‘together’ and be around others ‘who understand.’ In addition, parents and children will participate in workshops, support groups, etc.
In addition, it will provide a location in which families,professionals, and others the opportunity for education, networking and information sharing.
Goals and Objectives of the Conference
Goal #1 To create an environment for people to form relationships and share similar experiences in caring for a child with Selective Mutism
Objective: Workshops designed to provide interaction between volunteer support parents who have adapted in a positive manner and found techniques to help their children overcome Selective Mutism, with parents of newly diagnosed children, parents who are experiencing difficulty in adjusting to theirchilds Selective Mutism, or with parents who are simply looking for good ideas and strategies to incorporate into their lives to build self-esteem and greater self-sufficiency in their children and copings strategies for the child and family.
Goal #2 To empower parents, teachers and treating professionals to create the appropriate environment for children to overcome Selective Mutism
Objective: Seminars,workshops and books and materials available at the retreat will provide current best treatment practice information for children and adolescents with Selective Mutism. Parents will learn how they can best participate in their child’s recovery and how to form a team with teachers and therapist.
Goal #3 To promote networking and sharing of resources at local, state, regional, and national levels
Objective: Exhibitors and workshops will promote educational and mental health advocacy organizations that can serve as valuable resources for families of children with Selective Mutism.
Goal #4 To initiate an ongoing support network for families that will persist beyond the conference weekend
Objective: Support groups will be held at the conference for families from the same geographic area, as well as groups based on child’s age, gender, and other similar characteristics such as bilingual families. Workshops will also teach parents how to start and maintain support groups in their home states.
Attendance at the Selective Mutism In the School Conference
(Include number of people, cost per person, and total cost for each line where applicable)
Round trip Transportation