For Kids
(Ages 3-12)

Based on each camper’s age, baseline Stage® of social communication and through thoughtfully prepared therapeutic activities & strategies, CommuniCamp builds the social communication skills necessary for school, the real world, and home.

For Tweens/Teens
(Ages ~12-17)

Our teen program helps build self-understanding, confidence and social communication skills to address peer relationships, school participation, the real-world, the workplace, self-advocacy and much more!

For Parents

With ALL DAY parent training, education and support, learn how to facilitate proven S-CAT strategies in all settings, receive expert feedback from our lead clinical team, and gain a supportive community of people who understand!

Upcoming CommuniCamp™ Dates

  • August 9 - August 12, 2024

  • November 8 - November 11, 2024

What is CommuniCamp™?

Our 3+ Day CommuniCamp™ is an Intensive Group Treatment and ALL DAY Parent Training & Support Program to help parents, children, and teens (ages 3-17+) overcome Selective Mutism, social anxiety, and extreme shyness.

Children/teens do not need to talk to participate. All are welcome! There is no restriction based on a child/teen’s social communication stage. 

We will help your child/teen build the social communication skills necessary for school, the real world, and at home implementing the SMart Center’s 35 years of experience treating Selective Mutism using Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), the evidence-based treatment approach created by world-renowned Selective Mutism expert, Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum,  

We carefully craft therapeutic activities, exercises, and strategies for each camper’s age and individual baseline Stage® of social communication. Through these strategies, by respecting their baseline stages of communication (Social Communication Bridge) and respecting each camper’s unique needs, our campers progress across the Bridge in a strategic way where they can see and hear themselves communicating confidently in a school setting. This then translates to their daily lives when they get home as parents, educators and others facilitate strategies to keep progress going (Value of parent education and school training).

Children/teens receive 16+ hours of treatment, Parents receive 16+ hours of psychoeducation/support throughout the weekend.

CommuniCamp is an excellent supplemental treatment to those already receiving, or plan to receive, individualized care.

KIDS (Ages 3-12)

CommuniCamp offers a comprehensive daily program designed to enhance social communication skills for children ages 3-12. 

Each morning begins with a welcome meeting where campers review the day’s schedule and set goals with their counselors, followed by activities focusing on understanding and navigating social situations using the Social Communication Bridge® (S-CAT®) framework. 

Art therapy sessions provide a therapeutic outlet for self-expression and confidence-building, while imaginative play reinforces communication strategies. We’ll implement a variety of exposure-based games to boost confidence and apply learned skills in real-world scenarios. 

No moment will be spared to practice skills and build comfort including during movement breaks to promote mindfulness and relaxation and during mealtime also referred to as Lunch Bunch to encourage communication skills. Through these diverse activities, campers develop essential social skills, self-awareness, and confidence in their communication abilities!

TEENS (Ages 12-17*)

*Some exceptions can be made for 18 and 19-year-olds upon clinician approval

Sound On to hear Dr. E speak about our CommuniCamp™ for Teens program!

It can often be challenging for older children and teenagers with Selective Mutism and social anxiety to agree to participate in a group treatment program like CommuniCamp™. This is a widespread barrier to treatment, so rest assured you and your child are not alone!

CommuniCamp™ for Teens delivers the motivation for success and will address all aspects of life, including (but not limited to):

  • Starting and joining conversations.
  • Making friends.
  • Participating in class.
  • Job interview skills.
  • Text/email/social media.
  • Asking others for help.
  • Standing up for themselves.
  • Talking to strangers (like servers) without anxiety.
  • Initiating conversations
  • Building self-confidence.
  • Understanding themselves.

CommuniCamp for teens provides a supportive environment for enhancing social communication skills through a variety of activities. Each day begins with a Meet-n-Greet session where teens set goals, discuss successes and challenges, and strategize with counselors. 

Teens will engage in activities focused on understanding and navigating social situations using the Social Communication Bridge® framework, allowing them to identify their communication stage and develop strategies for progress. 

Journaling sessions provide opportunities for reflection and goal-setting, while Role Plays & Exposures offer real-world scenarios for practicing newfound skills. Mind/Movement breaks encourage mindfulness and relaxation which furthers their comfort level. During mealtimes we practice communication skills in a supportive setting, replicating typical social interactions. 

Throughout the program, counselors employ S-CAT® strategies to support teens in building confidence, competence, and leadership skills.

PARENTS

Parents are critical in the treatment process. A child or a teen cannot overcome Selective Mutism without the help of adults in their life.

Over the course of the program CommuniCamp™ offers 16+ hours where parents are working on those skills, getting questions answered, and learning how to best understand and support your child. Families leave with a toolbox of information to be able to implement strategies and see the children make amazing progress.

FAQ

Before & After CommuniCampEnrollmentLogistics
Do you have lead in sessions?
To enroll in CommuniCamp, we require a Selective Mutism Evaluation or Selective Mutism Interview so we can gain a deeper understanding of the patient’s history, current presentation, and identify causes & contributing factors to their SM or related social communication challenges. Based on our findings from this appointment, we offer a comprehensive report conceptualizing your child/teen's case, as well as provide recommendations for treatment. Although no other services are required ahead of CommuniCamp, we do see the best results for those who pursue individual care beforehand. Explore our care options.
What happens after CommuniCamp?

Follow up is key to long term success. At camp, your child (and you!) will learn many skills, but building on these skills and ongoing guidance on transferring of skills to other settings is needed.

Based on where you live, dictates the type of follow up. For those who can travel for in person appointments, the Monthly S-CAT Program or weekly Psychotherapy are follow up options.

For those who want virtual or telehealth: 1. If you live in a state the SMart Center is licensed, this is considered treatment. We can conduct the Monthly S-CAT Program or weekly psychotherapy with your child/teen. 2. If you live in a state the SMart Center team is not licensed in, we can conduct parent coaching and training services since this is not direct treatment with your child/teen. 3. For international families, we require confirmation of your diagnosis which our team can then provide recommendations/strategies via our parent coaching/training program.

FOR ALL states/countries, school trainings are a professional/non-treatment service and hence can be done in all locations.
Do you have references I can speak to?
Yes! Please send an email to CommuniCamp@SelectiveMutismCenter.org, and we’ll be happy to connect you to families who’ve attended our group and/or individual treatment programs. You can also check out our testimonials and success stories!
What if we are already established SMart Center patients?
As long as your SMart Center clinician feels you are eligible for CommuniCamp™, you may sign up for any of our CommuniCamp events! If it's been over 6 months since you were last seen, a follow up appointment may or may not be necessary to measure current social communication anxiety inventory. Just let our SMart Center clinical staff know that you're interested to begin the process.
Do you offer Financial Assistance?
YES!  We offer sliding scale fees for families that qualify, as well as limited grants specific to CommuniCamp. Begin financial assistance application Low-cost lodging recommendations
How much does CommuniCamp™ cost?
Selective Mutism Evaluation/Interview: $495 | prerequisite This appointment will allow our team to get a deeper understanding of the patient’s history, current presentation, and identify causes & contributing factors to SM. The SME is a pre-requisite to individual treatment, group treatment (i.e. CommuniCamp), and Assessment services. The evaluation/interview may not be necessary for SMart Center families who are in active treatment. A follow up appointment may be required based on the clinical team's recommendation. CommuniCamp™ Program 3+ Day Camp (in-person): $1995 A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure enrollment: the remaining balance is due 2 weeks before the program.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
With the demand for services, we require pre-payments to secure your appointment/service. Cancellations with more than 2 weeks’ notice will be refunded excluding the $500 scheduling deposit.  The scheduling deposit may be transferred to another service.  Cancellations with less than 2 weeks’ notice will require full-service fee payment (non-refundable). Cancellations due to travel challenges or medical emergencies: With proof of travel challenges or a medical emergency, we will address on a case-by-case basis.  With documentation of the emergency, such as a doctor’s note, we may permit a credit being applied toward future services. If the SMart Center must cancel any service as a result of circumstances beyond reasonable control including but not limited to fire, floods, natural disasters, riots, strikes, or disease epidemic, the client is eligible to receive a refund/credit excluding any deposits and payments for services already rendered.  Early dismissal from a CommuniCamp program will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
What is your Insurance Policy?
As a specialty medical practice, SMart Center services are considered out-of-network with all insurance providers. We are happy to provide receipts to families for submitting to their insurance companies for possible reimbursement. We suggest you contact your insurance carrier and inquire about your out of network coverage, any deductibles that must be met, whether you need a letter of medical necessity from your child's pediatrician, or any limitations on coverage. It is the family's responsibility to work with their insurance provider to see if CommuniCamp is eligible for possible reimbursement based on your specific plan. Please review our SMart Center Insurance Coding Guide for more information.
What if we are already established SMart Center patients?
As long as your SMart Center clinician feels you are eligible for CommuniCamp™, you may sign up for any of our CommuniCamp events! If it's been over 6 months since you were last seen, a follow up appointment may or may not be necessary to measure current social communication anxiety inventory. Just let our SMart Center clinical staff know that you're interested to begin the process.
How to determine eligibility for CommuniCamp™?
As a prerequisite to CommuniCamp, each potential camper will have a Pre-Camp Selective Mutism Evaluation (or Selective Mutism Interview) to deepen our understanding of their unique social communication needs. From this, we can determine proper course of treatment and ideal group placement at CommuniCamp™. This will help foster a comfortable, fun, and therapeutic weekend.   Camper Screener Questions
  • Is your child functioning at grade level or no more than 2 yrs behind socially, emotionally, and/or academically?
  • Does your child speak in at least one setting but mute in another?
  • My child does not have aggressive tendencies towards other children & adults.
  • My child does not have disruptive tendencies towards other children & adults.
  • If your child is 12 yrs + are they willing & interested in camp at least at a 5 or more out of 1-10 scale with 10 being the most motivated to join?
Child/teen is most likely an excellent candidate for CommuniCamp if answered YES to the above questions. If answered No to any of the above, camp is not ruled out, but an individualized approach may be more appropriate prior to attending camp.  Level of Communication We accept all levels of social communication. Stages vary from non-communicative, nonverbal, transitional, and verbal. Your child's level of communication will dictate group placement and the strategies used each day. Diagnosis An SM diagnosis is not required to attend. CommuniCamp is appropriate for those with Selective Mutism, social anxiety, extreme shyness or related social communication challenges.  
Are meals included?
In addition to the pizza orientation night, we offer snacks and beverages for both parents and campers each day of camp! However, we ask that parents prepare a packed lunch for their child (nut-free please). Parents will have an earlier lunch break from the campers, where they can leave campus to pick up lunch and bring back for themselves and/or the camper! Please alert us of any allergies and any related medical protocol necessary for your child.
How to get to CommuniCamp?
For families who are traveling for services by plane, we recommend flying into the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNA) and Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) are other nearby options! We recommend using ride-share apps such as Uber/Lyft or renting a car for getting around. For those traveling to the SMart Center for treatment, our address is: 261 York Road, Suite 900, Jenkintown, PA 19046 For those traveling to CommuniCamp please refer to your welcome packet for specific location. Typically held within 15 minutes of our center.
Can parents visit their child between Parent Training sessions?
Parent education, training, and support sessions occur all day, every day. The entire time that your child is working on building comfort, confidence, and communication—so are you! Parents' will have a 1 hour lunch break where you can connect with families who are experiencing this journey with you. This lunch break is separate from your camper's lunch break - they will eat with their group and counselors. With that being said, you can always meet/talk with your child if needed.
My child can’t go to the restroom without assistance. Please advise.
For in-person camps, counselors can lead children to the restroom (we also have scheduled bathroom breaks and communication boards present in the campers assigned room); however, counselors cannot physically assist at the toilet. If there's ever an issue, counselors will reach out to parents/guardians for help.
Are Parent Training sessions included?
Yes! Parent implementation is critical in the S-CAT® treatment process. We pride ourselves on the level of education and support we provide parents during CommuniCamp™. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn valuable information about Selective Mutism and understand the key philosophies to a successful treatment outcome. Parents will be taught step-by-step goals recommended for success after they leave CommuniCamp™ to implement in their daily lives when they get home. We discuss relevant topics, previous SMart Center patients share their stories, and everyone learns from one another. Also, each day after the program, families have the opportunity to meet up to bond with each other and practice goals together.
Parents from previous CommuniCamp™ programs shared the following: "I was eager for my child to meet other children like him, but I never realized I too would benefit so much from meeting other parents. What a surprising benefit of CommuniCamp™!" and "This was truly the missing link that we were searching for. Thank you so much for this incredible experience."
Do you provide childcare at CommuniCamp™? 
Currently, we do not provide childcare for siblings at CommuniCamp, however, the program is attended by many young families, so we absolutely welcome siblings into the parent sessions! It is up to the parents to occupy siblings (iPad/tablet with headphones, books, coloring pages, etc).
  • Older siblings are encouraged to actively listen/participate in learning how to help their sibling with SM.
  • Younger siblings are welcome but may become a distraction to the other parents. In that case, we ask that a family member simply walk their children into the lobby. It's common for extended family members to attend CommuniCamp to be the go-to person to take young children into the hallway. This way, parents don't have to miss any of the lectures. There is no extra charge for an additional family member who is joining to help with childcare.
Do you have recommendations for housing/hotels?
Yes! Families travel from across the globe to take part in our S-CAT® programs. Click here to view local lodging options, including low-cost housing near CommuniCamp™.