Brave Bunch Group Treatment for Selective Mutism
The BU Brave Bunch Program is a week-long intensive group treatment program for children ages 4-8 who have been diagnosed with selective mutism or have difficulty speaking in social or school situations with familiar and/or unfamiliar peers and adults.
Brave Bunch simulates classroom activities, which provide guided opportunities for children to interact with a number of new children and adults, participate in school-like activities (e.g., morning meeting, circle time, show and tell, creative projects), engage in field trips (e.g., to the library, the park), and play socializing games that promote verbal participation (“brave talking”) and spontaneous speaking. The children will have snacks and lunch together each day providing further brave talking and socializing opportunities. They will earn participation points throughout the day that will be traded in for small rewards at the BU Prize Store at the end of each day.
Parents and caregivers will have opportunities to both unobtrusively observe counselors working with their children and to participate directly in some “brave talking” activities, while receiving coaching on use of specific strategies to elicit speech from counselors. In addition, parents will participate in parent training groups to learn more about SM and evidence-based interventions.
Enrollment in Brave Bunch is limited, as there is a 1:1 child to counselor ratio, allowing us to work closely with each child and guide them in meeting their individually-established goals throughout the program. Therefore, we take care to ensure each participant is a good fit for the program before enrollment. Prior to the start of Brave Bunch, children will undergo a diagnostic evaluation and attend several “fade in” sessions with the counselor(s) who will provide individual support during the Brave Bunch program. During these sessions, the counselors will build rapport with the counselors who will work on establishing speech to prepare the children for Brave Bunch.
Brave Bunch typically takes place in August, to support children in building brave talking behaviors before they begin the new school year.
Brave Bunch Boosters and Mini Groups
The Brave Bunch Boosters are 1-day intensive programs with camp- and classroom-based activities for children already receiving services for SM at BU CARD who have made gains in brave talking and could benefit from group interaction with other peers and adults.
Mini Brave Bunch Groups are sometimes offered during February and April vacation school weeks. They typically are 3-4 days long and run for 3-4 hours a day.
How to Apply?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us. Children not already participating in individual therapy services at CARD will be asked to complete an initial diagnostic assessment and several “fade in” sessions before the program begins. This process usually takes place in May-July, and helps us ensure that each participant is prepared to successfully participate in the group program.