Remember Chloe’s Story? 9-year-old Chloe and her family attended The SMart Center’s CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program in the Spring and Summer of 2017. Chloe overcame Selective Mutism by way of CommuniCamp™ and was so inspired she decided to write a story about her journey to share her experience with other SM families who are searching for hope to overcome.
In honor of Selective Mutism Awareness month (and Chloe’s birthday—she is now 12-years-old!), we wanted to highlight this Shining Star. Chloe’s mom provided us with an update on how things have been going since attending CommuniCamp™ two years ago! Mom reports, “Chloe is doing phenomenal. She just entered the 6th grade and gone are the days that I have to prep and teach the teachers about Selective Mutism. Her confidence has sky rocketed and she holds her own communicating with others now. She even has joined a small group at our church which is all based on talking. She also just joined the morning show at school where she will at times be featured talking on camera to her peers. She still deals with some anxiety from time to time but she has learned…we have all learned…how to deal and cope with that. We are so thankful for what you all do. You all truly are a blessing from God and make a life long impact on these children.”
Through this experience, Chloe has learned that she loves helping other children. Chloe and her family sometimes travel back to CommuniCamp™ to help mentor families and give them hope that they can share a similar experience and overcome SM! If you are considering enrolling your family in an upcoming CommuniCamp™ Intensive Group Treatment & Parent Training Program with the SMart Center and would like to speak with Chloe’s mom about her experience, please email CommuniCamp@SelectiveMutismCenter.org so we can connect you!
To effectively overcome Selective Mutism and all anxieties, an individual needs to be involved in a treatment program, such as those rooted in evidenced-based Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), like Individualized Intensives and CommuniCamp. Developed by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum, this holistic or “whole-person” treatment approach is designed to reduce anxiety, build self-esteem, increase social comfort and communication in all settings.
As a physician, Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum (“Dr. E”) views SM as a social communication anxiety where mutism is merely a symptom. The key to an effective treatment plan is understanding factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of SM as well as understanding a child’s baseline stage of social communication on the Social Communication Bridge®. Then, working as a team, the treatment professional, parents, and school staff members help the child build coping skills to combat anxious feelings and to progress across the Social Communication Bridge©.