WeSpeak is our group intensive treatment program for 10-14 year olds with selective mutism. WeSpeak is a simulated school setting based on the structure, expectation, and demands of older children with SM. It is developmentally matched to the cognitive and social levels of the older kids – filling a gap in the SM camp services offered to younger children through our Mighty Mouth Kids, which was developed by SM pioneer Dr. Steven Kurtz. We use the exact same underlying behavioral principles but adapted to the needs of the middle school age group.
How is it Structured? Each day is divided into “periods” like a real school day. There are behavioral exercises in each class, such as partnering in science lab, reading aloud in English, performing in music, etc. We have a skill of the day each day, such as relaxation, cognitive coping, meeting/greeting, conversation extending, and do social exposures each day as well, such as scavenger hunts, field day. Parent training is key to the work and there are parent training sessions each day in the mid-morning with live parent coaching as well.
Who: Children with SM and related anxiety problems 10-14 years old.
What: WeSpeak is structured like a typical school day. Classes are staffed by trained mentors under the leadership of Dr. Shelley Avny. Parent training is conducted by Dr. Kurtz.
When: WeSpeak runs July 24-28, 2017 with intake and lead-ins arranged on an individual basis prior to that by calling 212.658.0110 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
School Location: We use a local NYC school to best simulate the real classroom situations your children and students are in when they struggle with SM. We also go on numerous field trips for community exposures – Central Park and Bloomingdales are among the favorites!
Process: After an initial intake evaluation, we do lead-in sessions to help prepare the students for the weeklong intensive program. The goal of the lead-ins is to talk to 2 mentors and in front of at least 1 other student, without the parents present. That way we know when they come into the group they will be ready to verbally participate (as well as non-verbally).
Other Providers: Many families are already working with other therapists. We are more than happy to coordinate care with other therapists or doctors you may be working with.
KURTZ PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTING PC
57 W 57TH ST #1007, NYC, NY 10019