July 2020 4-Day Virtual CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program
July 17 @ 12:00 pm - July 20 @ 5:00 pm
July 2020 CommuniCamp™ is Virtual! This 4-day Intensive Group Treatment and Parent Training Program to help children ages 4-12 (at every level of communication e.g. shut-down and non-communicative, nonverbal, somewhat communicative, etc.) with Selective Mutism, social anxiety, and extreme shyness speak in school and other social settings. Based on 20+ 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 will help your child build the social communication skills necessary for school, the real world, and at home.
Click here to learn more about the 1-Day Virtual CommuniCamp™ “Kick-Start” program we are offering multiple times this summer for children, tweens, and teens (ages 4-17 with exceptions for some 18 and 19 year olds).
Virtual CommuniCamp™ is our web-based INTEGRATED treatment and training group for Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety, and extreme shyness. Virtual CommuniCamp™ allows families to participate from the comfort of their own homes, which is the perfect environment to facilitate progression into social communication since home is where our children are often most comfortable and communicative. Virtual CommuniCamp™ embodies the two-fold mission of our traditional CommuniCamp™ meaning this event:
- integrates group experiences to help children gain comfort and communication with other peers and adults through activities often mirrored within the virtual classroom, via virtual playdates, and the “new world” of social distancing we are beginning
- involves parent training and implementation during camp, as parents are asked to participate within the ‘virtual classroom’ experience. Virtual CommuniCamp™ fosters parent observation, training, and facilitation (featuring Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum and Jennifer Brittingham, LPC) while SMart Center clinicians and counselors lead and role model communication progress using Dr. E’s evidence-based S-CAT® strategies and interventions.
- July 17 – Virtual CommuniCamp™ Day 1
- 12:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET – Parent Training & Welcome
- 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET – Camper Orientation, Meet & Greet
- July 18 – Virtual CommuniCamp™ Day 2 – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET
- July 19 – Virtual CommuniCamp™ Day 3 – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET
- July 20 – Virtual CommuniCamp™ Day 4 – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET
*The structured daily agenda involves both parent-only training sessions as well as child group sessions. Optional (but encouraged) independent camper activities and parent networking sessions will be offered. Upon registration confirmation, you will receive details of the agenda (daily activities, times, and breaks), a comprehensive Welcome Guide to prepare for Virtual CommuniCamp™, and additional supplemental resources to prepare you and your camper for your intensive weekend. Keep scrolling for more details on the process to enroll, pricing, and what to expect from the program!
WHO CAN APPLY? Children (new and existing SMart Center patients) ages 4-12-years-old with Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety, and/or Extreme Shyness (and their families!). Your loved one does not need an official diagnosis to attend.
WHERE IS IT? Microsoft Teams (we give you detailed instructions on how to join this easy-to-use platform)
HOW TO REGISTER? WHAT’S THE PROCESS & FEES? The process for families to join CommuniCamp™ is simple as 1-2-3!
- APPLY. Click here to complete the application so that Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum can perform a detailed review and assessment of the application to determine if applicant is eligible for group treatment prior to being involved in our Individualized Intensive Treatment Program. This is one of many unique aspects of CommuniCamp™. This is how we are able to accept new patients directly into group treatment! Our globally successful, evidence-based treatment approach, Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (SCAT®), is grounded in the understanding that Selective Mutism is more than just not speaking in social settings. Your loved one with Selective Mutism and/or Social Anxiety developed SM and remains “stuck” from one or more contributing factors. The application also allows to start to uncover the child’s/teen’s unique needs so that we can utilize the appropriate S-CAT® strategies with respect to his/her baseline. There is a $75 non-refundable application assessment fee. After a clinical assessment of your application, you will be notified of your status within 2-3 business days. Since established SMart Center patients have already completed the initial interviews and assessments, they are eligible to submit the application at no cost by using the coupon code: SMartPatient
- MEET. After your application is thoroughly reviewed, you will be eligible for one of three meeting options (in-person or virtual, dependent on clinical assessment of application) with one of our clinicians to deepen our understanding of your child’s unique social communication needs so that we can determine ideal group placement and identify and plan for the proper treatment strategies to utilize during the CommuniCamp™ weekend. Since we use S-CAT® model in a peer-group and school setting, this step will help foster a comfortable, fun, and therapeutic weekend for all. There is a minimum fee of $300* for this step; however, based on clinical assessment of application, Dr. Shipon-Blum might recommend individualized treatment prior to attending the program. More detailed information and pricing will be sent upon application acceptance. After your meeting is completed and your CommuniCamp™ acceptance is confirmed, we will create your child’s unique experience. Before, during, and after camp, purposeful, specific strategies are used to help ease each child’s specific anxieties, which will foster social comfort in a school-like setting and hence, communication. *This step is waived for SMart Center families who’ve been seen within 6 months to 1 year. Upon acceptance of application, the meeting may or may not be necessary pending clinician determination.
- ATTEND. Steps 1 and 2 unite with a Welcome Orientation and Meet & Greet sessions occurs the first day of the program. Campers and parents will meet the staff, counselors, fellow campers, and get used to the virtual platform. Therapeutic, S-CAT® strategies are incorporated into this pre-camp event. On the second, third, and fourth days, parents meet with our lead clinicians for 2+ hours each morning and then participate during the virtual activities. We also provide optional, but encouraged, parent lunch sessions. This is a popular aspect of our onsite CommuniCamp™! Parents will eat lunch on a video-conference with the parents of children in the same age range (led by a counselor). Parents also receive daily goal review and discussion to conclude each day. Although the way we engage within the real-world has changed, S-CAT® strategies are designed to meet campers ANYWHERE and utilize available opportunities to increase comfort and communication. Communication progress is NOT canceled or postponed–it’s happening now! We are still visiting the grocery store, waving hi/bye to people on family walks, ordering and picking up food, interacting with teachers/peers online, taking virtual music lessons, and more! Virtual CommuniCamp™ teaches and demonstrates how to implement strategies in both our “old world” as well as our new, virtual world to prepare our children for whatever social engagement opportunities become available (and to prevent regression when we return). Our SM experts will help families create action plans to prepare for social communication platforms as they will most likely be modified as we move forward. Examples include increasing comfort and progress into speech during playdates/get-togethers with peers both in-person as well as virtually, participating with teachers and peers one-on-one, and within virtual and regular classrooms, becoming proactive, participatory, and communicative in stores and with extended family gatherings, etc. Virtual CommuniCamp™ will therefore focus on ways to increase social communication in this ‘new’ virtual and social distancing world and also help with opportunities for the world as we begin to slowly re-engage. In addition to the above, included in the price of this step ($1,950.00) is:
- Multiple written educational materials and webinars to supplement your CommuniCamp™ experience to take home and to be shared with the chool/teachers/relatives/friends.
- A support call with the camper’s counselor to discuss what strategies worked best with your child during treatment.
- Receipts with CPT codes to submit to insurance
- A confirmation of diagnosis letter
- Recommendations for continued support, e.g. Individualized Follow-Up Sessions in-person or web-conference, School Consultations via web-conference, attend CommuniCamp™ again
- Confidence and A PLAN for what to do!
- A support system of professionals and peers you (and your child) can relate to and keep in touch with after the program.
- A metaphorical tool belt equipped with skills, strategies, and mechanisms for overcoming Selective Mutism.