JENKINTOWN, Pa., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment (SMart) Center, which specializes in the research and treatment of selective mutism and other social communication disorders, announced today that it is holding a Selective Mutism "In the School" Conference on Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Philadelphia-Cherry Hill, NJ.
Chaired by international expert and researcher Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum, the conference will provide parents, teachers, school personnel, and treating professionals with insights, techniques and proven strategies for helping selective mutism (SM) children succeed in the classroom.
Selective mutism is a complex anxiety disorder characterized by a child's inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as the school. When not properly treated, SM can wreak havoc on a child's academic success and can persist into teenage and adult years, creating lifelong social communications issues.
More common than autism, SM affects approximately seven of 1,000 children globally. Yet, the disorder remains greatly misunderstood. Children with SM are often misdiagnosed with other disorders such as autism, learning disabled, oppositional defiance, speech/learning disorders, or just considered "shy." As a result, they are not properly treated, and their problems persist.
"Although over 90 percent of children with selective mutism have social anxiety, there are often other underlying causes for their communication issues," according to Dr. Shipon-Blum. "Those causes could include sensory processing disorder, expressive language disorder, bilingualism, and perhaps auditory processing disorder. In addition, mute behavior can become learned and conditioned, requiring nuanced approaches to treatment."
Led by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum and other experts, the Selective Mutism "In the School" conference will focus on the assessment and development of accommodations/interventions (IEP/504 Plans) and provide tips and strategies to help children and teens with selective mutism speak in school. The focus will be on children from preschool to high school.
Dr. Shipon-Blum's evidenced-based Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®) has helped thousands of children and young adults overcome selective mutism more quickly and cost-effectively than other approaches. The treatment has also proven to be effective in treating other social communication issues.
Based in Jenkintown, Pa., the SMart Center provides a range of programs for selective mutism and other social communication issues. Its services include evaluation and treatment for selective mutism and/or shyness; speech and language evaluations and therapy; on-site and web-based school staff trainings and workshops; in-school evaluations and monitoring; and workshops and support groups for parents and caregivers.
Early bird registration for the Spring Selective Mutism "In the School" conference is being offered through March 1, 2016. For more information or to register, go to http://www.SelectiveMutismCenter.org email events@SelectiveMutismCenter.org, or call 215-887-5748.
About the Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center
The Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center (SMart) Center specializes in the evaluation and treatment of selective mutism and other social communication disorders. Directed by international expert and researcher Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum, who pioneered cost-effective treatments of selective mutism, the center offers its proven, evidenced-based Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT®), which has helped thousands of children overcome selective mutism and related social communication disorders.
The Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® and S-CAT® are registered trademarks of the Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center.
Media contact: Jim Kerr, 215 887 5748
SOURCE Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center