Adventure Camp: Intensive Treatment for Selective Mutism
Adventure Camp is an in-vivo, in-situ exposure therapy program designed to simulate the classroom environment. In the simulated classroom, your child has the opportuity to practice his/her communication goals. Each child is assigned to a counselor (1:1 ratio) and the counselor applies evidence-based therapeutic strategies to habituate to anxiety and increase verbal communication. Click here to read more about this intensive therapy for selective mutism.
REGISTRATION FOR ADVENTURE CAMP 2020 will open at the end of January, 2020.
REGISTRATION FOR WINTER ADVENTURE 2020 will open in November, 2019.
Adventure Camp: Intensive Treatment for Children with Selective Mutism
The purpose of this study is to investigate the treatment effect of Adventure Camp (AC) - an intensive, behaviorally-focused exposure therapy program for children with selective mutism (SM). The reason this study is needed is to address the dearth of research for selective mutism treatment, and to add to the understanding of cognitive behavioral exposure therapy for treating SM.
Research examining effective treatments for SM is on the rise but still is relatively underdeveloped. SM is characterized by a "consistent failure to speak in specific social situations in which there is an expectation for speaking (e.g., school) despite speaking in other situations," (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). SM is typically recognized in schools when a child does not talk after one month or more of being in school. The child may not speak to teachers, peers, and sometimes not even to their parents in the school, despite speaking normally at home. SM is conceptualized as an anxiety disorder and has 97% comorbidity rate with social anxiety disorder (Black & Udhe, 1995; Dummit et al., 1997; Yeganeh et al., 2003). Even though anxiety disorders are the number one mental illness in children and adolescents, they remain the least understood mental health problem in this population (Costello et al., 1996; Zahn-Waxler et al., 2000). There's even less understanding of SM, which, according to Bergman et al. (2002), has a prevalence rate of .71%, affecting about 1 out of every 140 children. Furthermore, there is insufficient knowledge about effective treatments for SM. As of the date of this writing, there are only two randomized controlled trials for SM treatment (Bergman et al., 2013; Oerbeck et al., 2013), both of which have demonstrated significant findings for behaviorally-focused exposure therapy, and maintenance of treatment gains at one-year follow-up (Oerbeck et al., 2014).
Adventure Camp uses a behaviorally-focused exposure therapy approach within a group setting. Studying Adventure Camp will hopefully add to our knowledge about SM treatments.