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Frequently Asked Questions

Do families attend more than one camp?2022-02-09T19:34:49-05:00

CommuniCamp is a great supplement to what you are doing on an individual basis (whether with us or with another provider). Camp meets each child where they are at on the Social Communication Bridge. Often times, families join us for additional camp programs to continue making progress at the child or teen’s new level. For any returning campers, we offer a 10% discount.



What is your Covid-19 Policy?2022-02-04T20:19:26-05:00

We are closely following CDC, county, and state guidelines for all in-person appointments and programs. Since these guidelines are subject to change, please contact the SMart Center for more information.

What happens after CommuniCamp?2022-02-04T20:20:41-05:00

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 you updated 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.

What does CommuniCamp™ cost?2023-09-15T17:28:28-04:00

Selective Mutism Evaluation/Interview: $495
The evaluation/interview may or may not be necessary for SMart Center families who’ve been seen within 6 months-1 year (based on clinical team’s recommendation).

CommuniCamp™ Program:

  • 3+ Day Camp (in-person): $1995
    A $500 non-refundable deposit to secure enrollment, the remainder is due 2 weeks before the program.
What is your Cancellation Policy?2023-09-15T17:29:38-04:00

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?2022-02-04T20:43:48-05:00

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.

Can parents visit their child between Parent Training sessions?2022-02-04T21:00:07-05:00

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.2022-02-04T21:00:45-05:00

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.

Do you have references I can speak to?2022-02-04T21:26:34-05:00

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!

Are Parent Training sessions included?2022-02-04T21:02:42-05:00

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 require campers to be verbal with at least one individual to join?2022-02-04T21:09:45-05:00

Absolutely not! The SMart Center DOES NOT require any camper to be verbal or participate in “lead in” sessions to be able to join CommuniCamp™.

Because our treatment philosophy, Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), is grounded in the understanding of Selective Mutism as a social communication anxiety disorder where child/teens are not just mute, our group treatment is accepting all child and teens at every stage of social communication (Social Communication Bridge®)!

Our evaluation and treatment process begins before you even arrive at CommuniCamp™ to help your child build the comfort necessary to feel safe and secure!

Do you provide childcare at CommuniCamp™? 2022-02-04T21:12:43-05:00

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, Mom/Dad 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?2022-02-04T21:14:33-05:00

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™.

What if we are already established SMart Center patients?2022-02-04T21:17:53-05:00

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.

Does my child need to have a Selective Mutism diagnosis to attend?2022-02-04T21:21:04-05:00

No, your child does not need a diagnosis or referral to be able to attend CommuniCamp™. We can provide an evaluation as part of the process.

Does my child need to speak to at least one person to be eligible for CommuniCamp™?2021-02-04T19:00:58-05:00

Absolutely not.  Children/teens with SM have a social communication anxiety disorder where their communication level will change from setting to setting and from person to person. Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum‘s S-CAT® approach focuses on the Stages of Social Communication. Stages vary from non-communicative, nonverbal, transitional, and verbal. As long as a child is approved via our CommuniCamp™ enrollment process, your child can participate. Your child’s level of communication will dictate group placement and the strategies used each day.

How to determine if my child is eligible for CommuniCamp™?2022-02-04T21:34:31-05:00

As a prerequisite to CommuniCamp, each potential camper will have a Pre-Camp Intake/Interview conducted 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.  Below are some screener questions to help guide if CommuniCamp is the right next step for your child.

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. 



What is the success rate of S-CAT®?2022-02-04T21:40:39-05:00

Based on our research, over 95% of participants showed a statistically significant increase in their ability to be verbal from session to the next. These patients have overcome their silence, are verbal communicators, and are now significantly more comfortable socially. After S-CAT®, most no longer required school accommodations to aid in communication.

Families who found success with S-CAT®:

  • Completed consistent recommended follow-ups (once every three to four weeks)
  • Dedicated themselves to being educated as parents
  • Educated school personnel about Selective Mutism and the individual child’s needs
  • Developed and implemented school accommodations and interventions (Note: academic achievement is dependent upon the correct placement and appropriate accommodations)
  • Involved the child’s participation and willingness/motivation to receive help.

Click here to read the results summary.

Click here to download the full study.

For a complete understanding of our research visit Selective Mutism Research Institute (SMRI).

Success Stories

What is Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®)?2022-02-04T20:47:53-05:00

Visit out Treatment Approach page for more information.

Upcoming CommuniCamp™ Dates:

January 2024 CommuniCamp™

January 12, 2024 @ 6:30 pm - January 15, 2024 @ 2:00 pm

February 2024 CommuniCamp™

February 16, 2024 @ 6:30 pm - February 19, 2024 @ 2:00 pm

March 2024 CommuniCamp™

March 22, 2024 @ 6:30 pm - March 25, 2024 @ 2:00 pm

June 2024 CommuniCamp™

June 21, 2024 @ 6:30 pm - June 24, 2024 @ 2:00 pm

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