Kids Out Loud
A Collaboration Between
Brighter Outlook Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and
The Anxiety Treatment Center of Maryland
While weekly behavioral therapy is beneficial for children with Selective Mutism (SM), intensive treatment options are becoming increasingly common and integrated into the treatment plan due to their robust and efficient results in eliciting change.
We provide evidence-based, specialized therapy support with the explicit goal of building and generalizing speech and social interaction to a wide variety of individuals and situations. Our goal is to increase your child’s confidence and mastery!
Our intensive summer camp provides 30+ hours of treatment in a one-week time period.
July 24 - July 28, 2023
9 am - 2 pm
Monday through Friday
Our experienced co-directors offer over thirty years of combined experience specializing in selective mutism and have been trained at some of the leading institutions in treating child anxiety (NYU Child Study Center, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University). Dr. Raggi has co-developed and co-directed camps for children with selective mutism for the past six years. As such, program elements and camp activities have been carefully chosen to give your child the best camp experience. Lastly, our camp is grounded in behavioral, research-supported strategies to treat selective mutism effectively.
Benefits of Intensive Camps
25 hours of intensive practice for youth and 7 hours of adult training leads to more rapid and sustained progress as compared to once-a-week standard therapy sessions.
Camp is offered at less than half the cost of standard individual therapy rates. You save about $3600 compared to what you would spend if participating in the same number of hours of individual therapy.
A multitude of real-world opportunities are incorporated to generalize speech with adults and children through varied camp activities, special events, and a simulated classroom environment.
Training is provided to parents and teachers so that intervention can be successfully sustained across new home, social, and school situations. This collaboration is essential for achieving system-wide, ongoing gains!
Camp is fun! We truly believe that change occurs most often when we are enjoying ourselves! Our activities are designed to be engaging and interactive.
Camp with a group of peers allows kids to learn through modeling and observing each other. Kids enjoy seeing others just like them. They inspire each other to develop their bravery!
Participating in camp over the summer allows for a boost in success and practice to give kids a head start on the new school year!
The Kids Out Loud Intensive Program
Kids Out Loud is a 5-day therapeutic camp experience that provides intensive behavioral treatment for children between the ages of four and eight diagnosed with selective mutism. Kids Out Loud employs an exposure therapy model to help children practice and build confidence in brave speech and social interaction, getting a jump start before the new school year.
With this goal in mind, each child is paired with a counselor who provides a customized treatment experience with specific goals and pacing to match their camper’s needs. We simulate a classroom environment and real-world, community activities with the goal of generalizing your child’s progress to as many situations and individuals as possible. Engaging and hands-on activities include group games, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, music, and special events. Each day is organized according to a theme. We practice circle time, center work, and show and tell to create a school-like experience. Individual goals target such brave activities as peer-to-peer interactions, speech in small and large groups, raising your hand and presenting during structured activities, spontaneous speech, and self-advocacy.
In addition to providing well-engineered and structured exposure activities, Kids Out Loud utilizes the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for SM (PCIT-SM) model developed by Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., through which Brave Buddies, the original intensive summer camp for children with selective mutism, was established. This is a research-supported approach for increasing verbal interaction through specific skills that reinforce speaking behavior. By integrating these approaches, we help campers reach their personalized goals. The counselors in our program are well-trained in implementing these proven techniques and receive ongoing supervision throughout the camp week.
Our activities are designed to be engaging and interactive.
Camp Package includes:
25 hours of child-focused therapy in a group setting with an individual counselor who provides one-to-one therapeutic support
Daily developmentally appropriate and fun camp events and activities (see more below)
5 hours of parent training and live coaching with camp directors
1-hour skills-based teacher training
1-hour fade-in session with your child and teacher
Sample Daily Schedule
Morning small group play
Morning meeting/circle time
Sensory activity (art, music or movement)
Interactive event (e.g., magician, petting zoo, ice cream truck)
Generalization activity (Group games, scavenger hunts, etc.)
Afternoon circle time and show and tell
Kids Out Loud
Veronica Raggi, Ph.D.
Dr. Raggi is a licensed psychologist and director of Brighter Outlook Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, LLC. Dr. Raggi has over fifteen years of experience providing evidence-based treatment for youth and families with selective mutism and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Raggi co-developed and co-directed an intensive summer camp for children with selective mutism for the past six years with Dr. Kelly O'Brien at Alvord, Baker, and Associates, through which she also collaborated on a pilot study to examine camp outcomes. Dr. Raggi supports other clinicians in treating selective mutism through bi-monthly peer consultation groups within the Selective Mutism Association. She frequently trains and consults with schools in treating anxiety and selective mutism.
In addition to clinical work, Dr. Raggi is passionate about bringing increased attention to evidence-based approaches to treating youth anxiety. She writes a blog called Brave Voices for Psychology Today. She has been a speaker for podcasts, interviewed by the Washington Post and other media, and has been published in numerous academic journals. Dr. Raggi is the first author of the book: Exposure Therapy for Treating Anxiety in Children and Adolescents, a resource for clinicians on implementing therapies that help kids face their fears effectively.
Courtney Keeton, Ph.D.
Dr. Keeton is a licensed psychologist and director of the Anxiety Treatment Center of Maryland located in Howard County. After completing undergraduate and graduate studies at Duke University and UMass Amherst, Dr. Keeton completed a post-doctoral fellowship and joined the faculty at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For nearly 15 years in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Keeton worked as an investigator on several research trials focused on the treatment of pediatric anxiety and other behavioral health issues. She also ran an outpatient clinic focused on the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders including selective mutism, and published dozens of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and book chapters. Dr. Keeton’s training experiences and early professional career yielded a respect and passion for the delivery of interventions that have been proven effective for children and teens.
Since founding the Anxiety Treatment Center of Maryland in 2014, Dr. Keeton has been dedicated to providing compassionate, innovative, and effective care to children, adolescents, and their families. She is an active member of the Selective Mutism Association and enjoys regular collaboration with fellow members. As a part-time faculty member at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Keeton continues to teach psychiatry residents about evidence-based interventions.
Our counselors are recruited from graduate psychology programs in the DC Metro area. Most of our counselors come from the University of Maryland at College Park, The Johns Hopkins University, and Catholic University Clinical Psychology Programs. Counselors receive extensive hands-on and didactic training in preparation for their involvement in our camp and groups.
Registration is now open
Space is Limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once camp is full, we will keep a short list of names on a waiting list.
Camp is an excellent opportunity for graduate students and motivated undergraduate students studying psychology or child development to get additional clinical training experiences. If you are interested in becoming a clinical volunteer for our camp week, please email Dr. Courtney Keeton at email@example.com with your resume.