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How to Best Understand and Address Selective Mutism in Younger Children, Tweens,

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How to Best Understand and Address Selective Mutism in Younger Children, Tweens, and Teens

Recorded on Thursday, September 20, 201 8| 12 pm to 1 pm EST 

Featuring: Dr. Shelley Avny, PhD

Shelley Avny, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan with expertise in assessing and treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Before starting her own practice, Dr. Avny was the Director of the Selective Mutism Program at Kurtz Psychology, where she founded WeSpeak – an intensive behavioral group intervention for tweens/teens with SM. The WeSpeak program was featured in an episode of BBC World News as an illustration of the struggles faced by tweens/teens with SM and how WeSpeak addresses these difficulties. Dr. Avny is a frequent presenter at ABCT, ADAA, and the Selective Mutism Association (SMA), serves on the ABCT Website Editorial Board, and is on the ADAA and ABCT program committees. Dr. Avny is invested in optimizing treatment outcomes for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, and uses the integration of theory, practice, and data to guide her in these efforts. 

Webinar Description

This webinar will provide information on the conceptualization and treatment of selective mutism (SM) across development. SM has received growing interest and attention in the last decade, resulting in improved and more accessible treatments. However, SM remains widely misunderstood among professionals, educators, and parents due to its complex and unusual presentation. Additionally, while SM was previously considered an early childhood disorder, there is growing consensus that SM is a “gateway” disorder, persisting into adolescence if untreated or inadequately treated, and that these youth may suffer even greater impairments and comorbidities than the younger ones.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

1. Understand symptoms of SM, and the differences in clinical presentations across development. 
2. Learn the various developmental adaptations in working with tweens/teens with SM, particularly in the context of an intensive group intervention. 
3. Seek out appropriate resources for youth with SM.