SMG to the Left



Friday March 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM EST
Saturday March 12, 2016 at 5:00 PM EST

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Florida International University 
11200 SW 8th St
Building ECS, Room 132
Miami, FL 33199

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Selective Mutism Group Childhood Anxiety Network 

SMG- CAN & the Andrew Kukes Foundation: Selective Mutism Expert Training for Professionals


The Selective Mutism Proficiency Program (SMPP) is an in depth- 2 day training program for professionals who work with children who are diagnosed with Selective Mutism (SM). The workshop will be intensive, interactive and skills based with the goal of substantially increasing competence and expertise in evidence-based treatment for the treatment of SM.

This is a unique opportunity for mental health professionals and trainees to learn cutting-edge, evidence-based and innovative techniques to effectively treat patients with Selective Mutism. Consultation following the training will be included in the cost.

This workshop will be led by experts, researchers, and writers in the field of Selective Mutism: 

Aimee Kotrba, Ph.D., Director of Thriving Minds Behavioral Health

Evelyn Klein, CCC-SLP, BRS-CL, LaSalle University

Rachel Busman, Psy.D., Child Mind Institute

Catherine Eckel, Ph.D.

Sharon Lee Armstrong, PhD, LaSalle University

The workshop will start by providing a framework for understanding the diagnosis of Selective Mutism, highlighting how the environment reinforces inhibition and nonverbal behavior. Strategies for assessment will be reviewed, including how to conduct observations of children with SM. Evidenced-based interventions will be covered in depth, including cognitive and behavioral strategies such as stimulus fading, shaping, positive reinforcement, and parent education/coaching. Innovative interventions, such as intensive-based treatment, group-based interventions and school consultation will be explored. Speech and language interventions and concepualization will also be a large part of the workshop. 

While participants should be practicing in the fields of mental health, social work, or speech-language pathology and should have some background knowledge or experience in working with children with Selective Mutism, we are excited to offer this workshop to graduate students who are working with children with anxiety disorders and SM. This is a great workshop for those graduate students who are interested in learning evidence-based assessment and treatment for SM. 

There are a hotels rooms at the Aloft Miami Doral Hotel. Rates are as follows: Standard King- with breakfast ($169) or without ($159). Please use the link below to reserve your room. 

Continuing education credit is available to psychologists (14.75 CE credits), Social workers (15 CE credits available), and Speech-Language Pathologists (1.5 CEs).

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Selective Mutism Proficiency Program counts for 1.5 ASHA CEUs, intermediate professional level.
Relevant Financial Relationships:
The following presenters receive a fee for speaking at the Selective Mutism Proficiency Program awarded from a grant through the Andrew Kukes Foundation:
Aimee Kotrba, PhD, Rachel Busman, PsyD, Catherine Eckel, PhD,Sharon Lee Armstrong, PhD, and Evelyn Klein, PhD, CCC-SLP
Relevant Nonfinancial Relationships:
The following presenters are Board Members of the Selective Mutism Group: Rachel Busman, PsyD, and Catherine Eckel, PhDThe following presenter is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Selective Mutism Group: Evelyn Klein, PhD, CCC-SLP

The workshop is made possible by a grant through the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety - find more information at

Educational Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the three main sections of an appropriate assessment for SM.
  2. Discuss potential roadblocks to successful treatment.
  3. List the steps in Verbal Directed Interaction, a behavioral intervention for SM
  4. Organize the steps in the communication ladder (shaping procedure).


Day 1

8-9:00 am – Understanding anxiety; overview of behavioral interventions for childhood anxiety disorders by Catherine Eckel

9-9:45 – Overview of Selective Mutism; comorbid diagnoses, physicological characteristics, video of common characteristics of Selective Mutism by Catherine Eckel

9:45-10:00 – Break

10:00-11:00 – Assessing for Selective Mutism; tools for evaluations, how to conduct a direct structured observation for Selective Mutism, using assessment outcomes to guide intervention strategies by Aimee Kotrba

11:00-12:00 – Assessing for speech/language weaknesses in children with Selective Mutism by Evelyn Klein and Sharon Armstrong

12-1:00 – Lunch Break

1:00-2:45 – Behavioral interventions for Selective Mutism; training in the use of shaping, stimulus fading, contingency management by Aimee Kotrba

2:45-3:00 – Break

3:00-5:00 - Child Directed Interaction and Verbally Directed Interaction as a treatment for Selective Mutism (with training videos and role play) by Rachel Busman

Day 2

8-8:30 – review of information from yesterday, questions and answers from audience

8:30-9:45 – Use of intensive dose interventions with Selective Mutism; day by day goals and strategies by Rachel Busman and Aimee Kotrba

9:45-10 – Break

10-11 – Innovative behavioral interventions – Catherine Eckel

11-12 – Innovative speech/language interventions – Evelyn Klein and Sharon Armstrong

12-1 – Break

1-2 – Successful consultation with school personnel – Aimee Kotrba

2-3 – Development of a special education plan with specific goals and interventions in the school setting – Rachel Busman

3:00-3:15 – Break

3:15-4 - Troubleshooting with difficult populations (older adolescents and adults, comorbid presentations, etc.). – Catherine Eckel


Refund/Cancellation Policy:

Any cancellations made prior to Jan 1 will receive a full refund. Cancellations made prior to Feb. 1 will receive a 50% refund, and no refunds will be given after Feb. 1.