What is the cost of the camp?

Cost is $3,325 for 30 hours of intensive therapy and 5 units of parent guidance (total of 35 hours of treatment). The chart below can help you see the benefits of intensive treatment, and the cost effectiveness as well:

Adventure CampTraditional Therapy
$95/hr x 35hrs (5 units are parent training) $180 - $240/hr x 35 hrs
Cost of Adventure Camp $3,325 $6,300 - $8,400
1 week (saved 7.25 months of time) 30 weeks (7 1/2 months)
See gains quicker Takes longer to see gains
Gains are greater Gains are less than intensive treatment
Gains continue post treatment; Child continues to show progress Post treatment, child looks the same at follow-up some time later
Classroom setting Office setting
Carry-over effects more likely Less carry-over effect
Bring the school to the clinic; have the teacher or social worker trained for the camp, for example (ins may cover) Additional costs to have Psych come out to school to help carry over the effects to the classroom (ins may not cover)

Selective Mutism has better outcome when it's caught early and treated intensively. Traditional outpatient treatment, while effective, takes longer (and that's only with the assumption that the clinician is using the proper techniques to treat selective mutism). With the camp, you know your child is receiving treatment from knowledgable staff trained in SM, and the gains are apparent in one week's time. The most convincing argument is this: 30 hrs = 7.5 months, which is almost an entire school year. The camp, done a week or so prior to the start of school, allows your child to start the year with confidence, and with an increased likelihood of talking at the start of the school year vs. the end.

Is this Camp Covered by insurance?

Many families who participated in previous Adventure Camps report being reimbursed by their insurance companies at least partially, ranging from 30% to 80%, variable by type of insurance coverage.  However, some families were not reimbursed.  With insurance coverage changing nationwide, it’s best to call your insurance and discuss your contract terms.  This camp is an out-of-network program. Payment in full is required to reserve your space. You should check with your insurance company to determine if you have out-of-network coverage for mental health services. You may need preauthorization for this treatment.  

For all services you receive at ATS, we will provide a receipt outlining the procedure codes for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. Depending on your coverage, your insurance company should reimburse you according to your contract terms with them.  Amount of reimbursement will depend on the terms of your health insurance contract.  In the past, some families have not been reimbursed for Adventure Camp.  Reimbursement amount varies and is not guaranteed, however ATS will support you in your efforts to appeal denied claims. Please be aware that insurance companies require a diagnosis to process the claim. The diagnosis on the claim will be 313.23 (Selective Mutism).  During the evaluation sessions, your child will be assessed for SM and a diagnosis will be provided if appropriate.

If personal funding or insurance reimbursement are not options for you, crowdfunding is a newly popular alternative. Websites such as MyEvent and GoFundMe have helped families raise the money necessary for treatment.

What are the CPT Codes used on the insurance reimbursement forms?

The table below lists most of the procedures associated with Adventure Camp.

Description CPT Code
Diagnostic Evaluation: 

A 90-min diagnostic intake interview with the child's parents to collect history, review of systems, differential diagnosis, review of prior records, review of sample videotape of child functioning, parents' families psychiatric histories, especially in regards to SM and social anxiety.

Child Observation and Parent Training

Up to 60-min live behavioral observation(s) to assess and quantify the degree of mutism with and without the presence of a trained confederate "stranger," allowing us to define baseline response rate to different question types, rate, latency and volume of speech with and without stranger present.

Parents Feedback Session & Parent Guidance: 

A 60-min feedback session with parents is held which includes presenting diagnoses, rule outs, and discussing the plan for CBT that will ensue. Parents need to collaborate with the therapist to decide on the location of the treatment sessions, i.e., which ones can be held at the clinical office versus in situ, and the rate and intensity of the sessions. Decisions are made at that time as well as to whether the child will start with CBT only, allowing for the future addition of psychopharmacologic treatment as an adjunct, or whether to start with combined treatment, or in some cases to start with psychopharmacologic treatment before the CBT.  Parents will be provided guidance on the behavioral techniques to implement at home and in the community with their child, to help maintain and generalize treatment gains.  Parents are provided feedback about their child's behavioral challenges and gains from the initial assessment sessions.  Parents will be provided with specific techniques that will be used to successfully help their child overcome his/her specific barriers in the exposure process and prepare him/her for AC.  Following completion of AC, parents may request additional feedback sessions to discuss next steps, including help with transfer of treatment gains to school.

Psychotherapy (Lead-in Sessions): 

45 to 60-min exposure sessions to condition the child to speak to the therapist first in the presence of the parent, but then fading the parent out so the child is talking to the therapist in the absence of the parent. We then graduate the child to talking in the presence of another child. Once they have met these a priori goals, they are deemed ready to participate in the Adventure Camp group. Absent these a priori goals, the child runs the risk of coming to the group unable to participate verbally, in which case the group would inadvertently reinforce their mutism, which we avoid at all reasonable costs. The data from Child Mind Institute's intensive group program, Brave Buddies, which Adventure Camp is replicating, show that following this protocol, 50% of children achieve these a priori goals in four or fewer sessions; 75% achieve these goals in eight or fewer sessions; 25% require more than eight sessions to be able to talk with the therapist and in front of another child (Kurtz, 2011, Personal Communication).

Group Psychotherapy (Camp): 

Six hours of interactive group therapy treatment per day for five consecutive days, similar to a day treatment model. We use a 1:1 therapist to child ratio 95% of the program and a ratio that is never less dense than two children to one counselor. A licensed clinical psychologist is always in attendance to provide clinical oversight and to deliver the group treatment as well.

Multifamily Group Psychotherapy (Parent Guidance): 

A one-hour group therapy for parents to be trained in the behavioral techniques to implement at home and in the community with their child, to help maintain and generalize treatment gains. They are taught, practice, and demonstrate to mastery the requisite prompting, monitoring, and reinforcement skills used by the staff. Staff use modeling, shaping, corrective feedback, and contingent reinforcement with the parents to train them in the skills. Parents are provided feedback about their child's behavioral challenges and gains, and the specific techniques used to successfully help their particular child overcome her specific barriers in the exposure process.


Treatment Summary Report

A comprehensive report is provided after completion of camp, listing your child's scores on standard SM measures pre-camp and post-camp, observational data, and specific recommendations to facilitate transfer of treatment gains into the school setting.  As we work with your child intensively, from lead-in sessions through camp week, we will be able to see what interventions your child responds to, and we will be able to provide those recommendations to your child's school staff through this report.  Parents and Teachers have lauded the usefulness of this report, stating that it has been a reference they often go back to after camp.

Post Adventure Camp Feedback Meeting (School Consultation)

While the Treatment Summary Report is certainly useful for providing detailed feedback to schools, through the years we have learned that submitting a lengthy report to schools at the start of the school year is not always effective.  School teams are busy at the start of school, and reading a lengthy report may not be feasible for them. An alternative that many parents select is the Post-Adventure Camp Feedback Meeting which takes place at their child's school.  For out-of-towners, the meeting takes place via conference call. In the meeting, we provide the pre-camp and post-camp scores from the selective mutism questionnaire (SMQ), review five key steps that foster generalization in the school setting, provide recommendations on how to prompt your child in the school setting that can help transfer camp success into school, review the your child's daily camp goals, and provide information on what was effective in camp for your child and what was least effective. This information helps guide schools in their intervention planning.  Meeting face-to-face (or via conference call) also allows school teams to ask questions and seek clarification.


Camp fee includes Group (90853) and Multifamily Group (90849) Psychotherapies only. All other codes are addtional costs.*

For a complete listing of services associated with Adventure Camp and services Post Adventure Camp, contact intakeline@advancedtherapeuticsolutions.org

*Diagnostic Evaluation (90791), Child Observation (90837), and Parent Feedback Session (90846) may have already been completed by the child's current ATS provider. Advanced Therapeutic Solutions provides procedures 90791, 90837, and 90846 to families who still require a full diagnostic. Number of Lead-In Sessions (90834) vary for each child and therefore are separate from Adventure Camp fees.  All codes will be listed on insurance reimburseable receipts for you to submit to your insurnace company. 


How do I register my Child?

Click here to register. Slots fill quickly and are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Registration for Winter Adventure opens in November, and registration for Adventure Camp opens in January. If you wish to be notified once registration opens, click here to go to the registration page and select the link to be notified when registration opens.

If you are new to ATS, you will need to complete an initial evaluation, which consists of three mandatory sessions at our Oak Brook location: the Diagnostic Evaluation (Session #1), Child Observation & Parent Training (Session #2), and Parent Feedback Session (Session #3).  It is ideal to schedule your initial evaluation as early as possible.  Following the Diagnostic Evaluation and Child Observation sessions (#1 and #2), there will be a Parent Feedback session (Session #3) in which you and your ATS therapist will discuss whether or not Adventure Camp is an appropriate treatment option for your child.  For out-of-town families, coordination of sessions is determined on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact our Intake Coordinator to discuss your needs.

I'm a provider or teacher, how do I refer a family?

 To refer a family, call (630) 230-6505 to speak to our Intake Coordinator or email intakeline@advancedtherapeuticsolutions.org. We can determine if we are the appropriate provider for your referral or guide you in the right direction if we are not. 

Can we have the letter of support to send to the insurance company before we register so we can know ahead of time if they'll cover?

Yes, we can work with you and/or your current provider so that we can submit a letter. Please be aware that insurance companies state "eligibility of benefits is not a guarantee of coverage." It is likely you will need pre-authorization for this treatment, so be sure to ask your insurance company about what you need to do to obtain pre-authorization.

I don't want to use insurance, and I can't pay the amount in full before camp. Are there other options?

If you change your mind and choose to use insurance after you've already paid, you can send the receipt to your insurance company; depending on your coverage, your insurance company will reimburse you according to your contract terms with them. Typically, you have up to 1 year from the date of service to send in the receipt for reimbursement.

We looked into CareCredit, but unfortunately they no longer offer financial plans for psychological services. We are investigating other options. In the meantime, CareCredit suggested checking other credit card companies that are offering 0% financing for several months for those who qualify. You can click on www.CompareCards.com to find cards offering promotions.

You may also want to check when benefits renew with your employer, as some policies renew in July. You may still be able to add money into your Flexible Spending Account, which would allow you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for camp, saving you some money.

Is there a charge for the SM Counselor Training?

The SM Counselor Training is specifically for the counselors, to train them in the techniques used for the program. While there is no cost, the counselors do have to make the commitment to participate in the 2-day training, lead-in sessions, and camp. See Counselors Page for more information.

If I apply and am chosen to be a camp counselor, can my hours count for school?

Previous counselors have been able to apply the SM Counselor Training hours, lead-in session hours, and the 30 hours of camp towards their school's practicum, internship, or field work hours. It depends on your program.  Check with your school's training director.

Will this camp be suitable for my 11 yrold, or is this just for younger children?

There are some older children currently interested, and we hope to recruit more. We will divide into two groups: an early childhood program of up to age 7, and an older child program of up to age 12. Each program will expose the children to what is expected at their grade level. For younger children, calendar time and free play are some examples. For older children, expectations of presenting reports, raising hand to answer questions, working in reading pairs or groups become the norm. The therapeutic curriculum will be individualized to the age group's needs.

Children above age 12 will be considered on a case by case basis.

Would this camp help my son if he needs help with communicating with peers? He's fine with adults now, he does well communicating with teachers. He can't initiate conversations with peers and doesn't know how to make friends, which is getting harder at age 11! I'm happy he's where he is at. He's on a soccer team, going to sunday school, can play with 1-2 kids at recess, he can stand up for himself if he's getting picked on. He just hasn't learned the skills how to be a "kid"! Do you think this camp would be a good fit?

Thank you for your question - it's a very good one. This camp would be excellent to help him practice these social skills. Children with SM may fall behind in developing social skills with their peers. When they become verbal, at times they don't feel confident because they're lacking the social skills that most kids who don't have communication issues naturally acquire. Since this camp is 1:1, his counselor will be able to help him with this area, take him aside, role play, etc., and then he would be exposed to the opportunity to engage. If he struggles, the counselor can coach him on the side and then try again. That's what the camp is about - helping each child wherever they're at in the process of communication. What's also nice is that each child in the camp is sensitive and empathic to the other campers since they can relate. It's a supportive atmosphere that allows for modeling and immediate reinforcement.

Does my child have to be in treatment to participate?

Not necessarily. Your child will be evaluated and lead-in sessions can be scheduled to prepare him/her. Once your child is able to respond to one counselor in front of another counselor and camper, facilitated by the therapeutic methods used in the sessions, then he/she will be eligible for the camp. Many parents worry that their child won't be able to "pass" the requirement of responding to 1-2 counselors in front of another camper in preparation for camp; please remember that the lead-in sessions help your child get there! Most children from previous AC programs needed 3 lead-in sessions, with a range of 1-8 sessions. It is unusual for children not to "pass" the a priori goal of responding to their counselor in front of another counselor and camper. Most children who have started the process have made it to camp.

My child is currently seeing a therapist. Can she still do the camp?

Absolutely. In this case, the camp would be an adjunct to the current treatment. To increase benefits, having your child's therapist train and become a counselor for the week would increase likelihood of continued progress post camp when she continues outpatient treatment with the therapist. Of course, your child's therapist will need to apply for the training, and there's no guarantee that they will be accepted. If your child's therapist is interested, please refer them to the camp counselor page to apply.

Where is the camp being held?

Winter Adventure, one-day camp, is held at ATS, 600 W 22nd St, Suite 250, Oak Brook, IL. For summer Adventure Camp, ATS rents out space at a nearby school in Oak Brook, Hinsdale, or other surrounding suburbs close to ATS.  We aim to have confirmation of location in January.  Contact the office to find out where camp will be held for the summer you are interested in.

What research has been done on this camp?

Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., ABPP, started a camp called Brave Buddies in 2009 while he was at NYU's Child Study Center. Since then, he's established a camp at Child Mind Institute of New York while he was Director of the Selective Mutism Program there, and now he runs his own practice called Kurtz Psychology Consulting, P.C. 

Adventure Camp is a replication of Kurtz's Brave Buddies. Dr. Kurtz trained all the counselors who took part in Adventure Camp 2011, and Dr. Lynas continues to train prospective counselors for AC 2012 and beyond. Campers who have completed the camp have demonstrated increased spontaneous speech from day 1 to day 5 of camp, showed more spontaneous speech than what is seen with traditional therapy, and our campers also continued to progress after camp ended.  ATS and Kurtz Psychology Consulting, P.C. continue to collaborate and develop programs to help children and families coping with selective mutism. 

For a more detailed FAQs, please contact our Intake Coordinator at 630-230-6505 or email your request to intakeline@advancedtherapeuticsolutions.org

We are excited to share that 91% of the 2016 Campers showed improvement in the School Domain from the Baseline measure to the 3-Month Post Camp measure, and 95% of 2016 campers showed improvement in the Public/Social Domain from the Baseline measure to the 3-Month Post Camp measure. Further analyses are to be completed to determine statistical significance and clinical significance of these findings, but here we present to you our preliminary findings to date. Click here to download the power point slides and watch both presentations below.

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