WeSpeak

WeSpeak is an internationally-recognized behavioral group intensive for tweens/teens with selective mutism (SM) that Dr. Avny developed in 2016 to meet the high demand for services for these older kids. 

 

WeSpeak has changed the lives of youth and families worldwide. 

About WeSpeak

  • Simulated school based on the structure and expectations of middle- and high-schoolers; all activities target verbalizations with adults and peers that mirror the demands of this age group 

  • One-to-one mentor model builds continuous and individualized practice into engaging and real-world "school" and social activities

  • Individualized goals are established prior to WeSpeak and adapted each day according to status and progress

  • Activities include:

    • Individual daily advisory meetings to set goals for the day

    • Education about anxiety and skills practice in relaxation, identifying and challenging anxious thoughts, initiating and maintaining conversation, and imperfection

    • Academic or specials class (e.g., partner/group work, answering/asking questions, presenting)

    • Social exposures (e.g., typical hang-outs)

  • Parent training is provided to teach parents ways to help their kids carry the momentum forward after WeSpeak

 

***WeSpeak now includes three months of built-in follow-up services!

  • Designed to target the transfer and maintenance of gains in the home/school/community setting 

  • Includes monthly individual/family consultations, video group practices, and group parent trainings

Next WeSpeak Session: 10-17 year olds

Dates: July 25-29, 2022 (lead in sessions July 21-22, 2022)

Time: 9 AM - 2 PM daily

Location: Princeton, NJ

Parent training: July 25-28, 5-5:45 PM over Zoom

(in addition to pre-recorded didactic videos)

WeSpeak Mentors

We are currently accepting mentor applications for the summer WeSpeak!

Graduate students and professionals interested in obtaining training and experience in working with older youth with SM are encouraged to apply. 

Click here for to learn more about the WeSpeak mentor experience.

We are committed to doing ongoing research to better understand how to best help youth with SM. 

BBC WeSpeak Documentary

Harriet Shawcross, an award winning documentarian, spent a week with WeSpeak families and Dr. Avny, to gain an understanding into selective mutism and this unique treatment intervention.