The Brave Bunch Summer Treatment Program is a week-long intensive group program for children ages 3-10 who have been diagnosed with selective mutism or have difficulty speaking in social or school situations with familiar and/or unfamiliar peers and adults. The FIU-MINT Brave Bunch is modeled after the intensive week-long program developed by Dr. Steven Kurtz.
The FIU Brave Bunch Summer Treatment Program simulates a classroom, which provides guided opportunities for these children to interact with a number of new children and adults, participate in classroom-like activities (e.g., morning meeting, circle time, show and tell, group 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. Our treatment is grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is focuses on reducing fear and avoidance of feared stimuli, by use of coping strategies (cognitive) and graded exposure to feared stimuli (behavioral). We work collaboratively to set individually-established goals for each day, and using the skills learned, will gradually practice “brave talking” in various classroom-like activities.
The children will have snacks and lunch together each day providing further brave talking and socializing opportunities. Using positive reinforcement for their brave talking and participation, they will earn participation points/checks throughout the day that will be traded in for small rewards at the Prize Store at the end of each day. We anticipate having availability for 30 children for each camp, so that we can help guide each child toward their individually-established goals throughout the program. Parents (caregivers and educators also welcome) will have the opportunity to participate in 8 hours of parent training in which they can work with trained therapists and role-play how best to support their child.
Prior to the start of the program, children will undergo a diagnostic evaluation and attend sessions with their therapist who will provide individual support during the FIU Brave Bunch Summer Treatment Program. During these sessions, therapists will work to gradually have the children interact and become prepared for talking with their peers and other adults during the camp. These lead-in sessions occur at FIU Center for Children and Families, whereas the actual camp will be held at Paul Bell Middle School approximately one mile from FIU.
June 26-30, 2017 and July 24-28, 2017
The cost of the camp is $2,800. The cost of the camp includes a complete full psychological assessment before and after treatment, a brief report to document results of the assessments and participation in the treatment program, lead-in sessions prior to the camp, 40 hours of camp attendance, 8 hours of parent training during the week of the camp, and one teacher training.
A 20% ($560) deposit is required upon registration to reserve a spot (the remaining balance to be paid prior to the first day of the program). Please note this is on a first come, first serve basis and space is limited. Spots will not be reserved without an application and paid deposit. Payments can be made via credit card by calling 305 348 0477.
Enrollment open until May 26th.
HOW TO APPLY:
More detailed information:
Once the application and deposit are received, a therapist will be reaching out to you soon to set up a time to complete an evaluation over the phone and let you know what the next steps will be. In the meantime, please see below for more answers to questions about Brave Bunch.
The camp runs 9 AM-3 PM Monday-Friday, with parent training sessions taking place Monday-Thursday 3 PM-5 PM; we strongly recommend that ALL parents attend parent training (grandparents and other relevant caretakers are also welcome to attend parent training). During parent training time, we offer free childcare for children participating in the camp as well as their siblings, serving as additional time for your child to practice their brave talking.
The lead-in sessions that will occur prior to camp will take place at the Center for Children and Families at FIU (11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199; click for directions to the Center). The camp will take place at Paul W. Bell Middle School (11800 NW 2nd St, Miami, FL 33182), which is 5-10 minutes away from the Florida International University main campus where the Center for Children and Families is located.
All balances for the camp are due by the Friday before the start of camp. If you need a payment plan to pay off the remaining balance after camp, please let us know. You can submit your payments by calling the Center for Children and Families, and paying with your credit card. You can call the Center at (305) 348-0477 and inform the receptionist that you are calling to pay your balance for the Brave Bunch Camp.
The price of the camp includes the following: (a) an evaluation to determine camp eligibility and provide a formal diagnosis of Selective Mutism, (b) 3-10 hours of individual sessions prior to the beginning of camp, (c) 30 hours of camp (group treatment), (d) 8 hours of parent training, (e) one 2 hour teacher training, (f) brief post-treatment report documenting child’s diagnoses, progress in Brave Bunch, and recommendations.
If you are an out-of-town family and are looking for accommodations please Click Here– we have highlighted hotels close to the location of the camp, some of which families have stayed in the past and recommended.
Brave Bunch FAQs
We would like to address questions frequently asked by families, please take a moment to review them carefully:
What if the evaluation shows that the camp isn’t the appropriate service for my child?
We will return your deposit and provide appropriate recommendations for other treatment programs either at the Center for Children and Families or at one of our referral sites.
Is Brave Bunch covered by insurance?
Currently, our program does not accept insurance. However, we can provide you with a statement with CPT (service) and diagnostic codes that you can then provide to your insurance company for out-of-network coverage. It is highly recommended to contact your insurance company prior to the camp to ask specifically what they need and what they will cover. Some insurance companies will reimburse a certain percentage of cost. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that your insurance company will cover the cost.
What if my child does not speak to the counselors during lead-in sessions prior to the camp?
Each child is required to speak to 2 counselors (and hopefully more) before being deemed eligible for the camp. This requirement is in place due to years of experience during which time we have observed that children who have not met this criterion, but still participate in the camp, do not make as many gains. We make every effort possible to have children meet this requirement, however, it can happen (though not often) that some children are unable to speak to counselors prior to the camp. This may mean that your child would benefit more from a different format of treatment to best suit their needs.
If this occurs, your child will not be enrolled in the camp and we will be unable to refund your deposit, but will not charge you for the remainder of the camp fees. Please note this applies to ALL families (even out-of-state families).
If you are an out of town family please keep in mind that the latest that you can come in for your first session is the Wednesday before camp (either Wednesday, June 21, 2017 or Wednesday, July 19, 2017). This is to give your child the best opportunity to meet the criteria to make it into the camp, giving us the most time to work with them in the event that they do not speak to a counselor during their first scheduled session. We appreciate your understanding. We want your child to be as successful as possible!
What should I pack?
You should pack lunch, 2 snacks, and water for your child each day of the program and apply sunscreen to your child before camp begins. We will not provide other snacks throughout the day. You should also pack comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes for your child. The classrooms are air conditioned, however many activities will be outside (the temperature in Miami can range between 85-95 degrees F in the summer). Each day of the program will be themed so you can send your child dressed in the following themes:
Monday: favorite color day
Tuesday: animal day
Wednesday: wacky Wednesday
Thursday: sports day
Friday: character day
When will teacher training take place?
Teacher training will take place in August, but the exact dates have not yet been set. We will update all families as soon as we set a date. We will be live streaming the training for teachers who cannot attend in person. These trainings will also be recorded, so if your teacher is unavailable to make either of the set dates, they can watch the training at their own convenience.
If you would like to learn more about the camp, or selective mutism in general, here are some links that you might find helpful: