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Selective Mutism Association Annual Conference 2018

September 15 - September 16

Cosponsored by Advanced Therapeutic Solutions

Selective Mutism Association Annual Conference
September 15 and 16, 2018
Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
Chicago, IL

Register for the Conference

Conference Agenda

The Selective Mutism Association is proud to offer our annual conference this year in Chicago, IL! This year’s Selective Mutism Conference will be co-sponsored by Advanced Therapeutic Solutions. The conference will be a one- and a half day conference and will be held on September 15 and 16, 2018 at the beautiful conference facilities at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile. It will be a wonderful time of gathering for the selective mutism community to learn the latest in evidence-based information, support one another and connect with both parents and professionals!

Keynote Address

Helping Your Child to Grow Up Out Loud and Just Fine, by Karen Cassiday, Ph.D., ACT

Parenting a child with selective mutism can be very complicated. Parents walk the knife-edge of trying to promote exposure while simultaneously showing their child that they are loved just as they are. Dr. Cassiday will speak from her experience parenting her child with selective mutism and from her years of treating kids and adults with selective mutism. She will discuss how you can cultivate the qualities that help your child and family thrive while overcoming selective mutism. She will describe how to help families live a life full of purpose, joy, friendship and good humor despite their challenges.


Dr. Karen Cassiday received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1990 from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Nationally recognized as an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders in children, teens, and adults, she has conducted extensive research into anxiety and is widely published. She is the immediate Past President of the prestigious Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and served on the board of Beyond OCD Chicago. She is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and one of only 3 certified Cognitive Therapy Consultants in the state of Illinois. In addition, she serves on the faculty of the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation Behavior Therapy Institute and at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. A sought after national speaker on television, radio and at professional training seminars, Dr. Cassiday has appeared as an expert consultant on Animal Hoarders on TNT and on NBC’s Today Show. Her expertise has been tapped through commentary in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and numerous other publications. Dr. Cassiday has a special fondness for parents and children who cope with selective mutism. One of her sons had selective mutism, in addition to other members in her extended family.

Conference Offers Professional and Parent/Family Track

The conference will offer presentations for both professionals and parents/family, but any person can attend any session that interests them. All registrants will attend the keynote address, then will have a choice of different presentations to attend. In addition to these sessions, we will offer an Expert Q&A panel and a Hear Our Voices panel where people talk about their lives and recovery from SM. There will be opportunities for parents and professionals to meet and visit, a bookstore that provides the latest in Selective Mutism resources, and a silent auction where proceeds will go towards helping the Selective Mutism Association continue to educate and connect individuals impacted by SM.

Kids’ Camp

For an additional registration fee, parents may choose to have their child attend a Kids Camp that is a safe place where children can go to play games, do crafts and participate in other activities. This camp will be provided by people who are trained with selective mutism, but please note this kids’ camp does NOT offer any treatment. Children participating in the Kids Camp must be potty trained.

Continuing Education

Please stay tuned for further information on Continuing Education credits that will be offered. Information will be added to this website as it becomes available.


Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
511 N. Columbus Dr.
Chicago, IL 312.836.5900

Happy Hour on Saturday, September 15

Stay tuned for information regarding a special time after the conference to connect with other parents and professionals.

Hotel Options

We encourage you to make your hotel reservations as early as possible in order to get the lowest rates and best availability. Chicago is a very busy city in the Fall, and room rates will rise as the conference date approaches. There are many hotels in downtown Chicago and surrounding areas, including near the airports. Many hotels offer public transport from local airports and taxis/uber are always an option to avoid car rental and parking fees.

Our host hotel, the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile is offering a discounted room rate for the conference hotel. This discounted rate is $279 and includes a hot cooked-to-order breakfast, complimentary nightly cocktail reception with light snacks, and complimentary guest room WIFI. To obtain the discounted rate, please either follow this link to make a reservation or call the hotel at (877) 865-5321 and reference either the group code SMU.IC or the Selective Mutism Association 2018 Courtesy Block.

Please check back for further information regarding our call for papers, conference and registration information. It will be added as soon as it comes available.

Email conference inquires to Lisa Kovac at

Register for the Conference


September 15
September 17