"We’ve done camp for two years, and it has been a life-changing experience for our son...we feel very lucky to have had access to local, evidence-based treatment for SM!"
Parent of Mighty Mouth Kids - OKC Camper
Our mission is to help as many families as possible with high quality services to help children find their brave voice. It is even better if we can serve families locally and in the Midwestern region where very few intensive treatment options exist. Ultimately, we will serve families regardless of their ability to pay for services.
How We Got Started
Selective Mutism is a relatively rare anxiety disorder that impacts young children. While a child may be a chatter box at home, the same child may be physically unable to speak in other situations such as at school or church. Some children even struggle with talking to other relatives. The recognition of Selective Mutism has increased, but many services were recently not available in Oklahoma or surrounding areas.
Given the lack of available treatment options, a group of families partnered with us at OU Physicians Child Study Center to close the gap in access to care. The journey started in 2016 when Dr. Funderburk and Dr. Shawler were serving a small group of families. Simultaneously, we kept hearing that other families were being identified around campus. Shawna Standiford, M.Ed., LPC was interested in serving this population and a plan started to unfold.
Coincidentally, a local family was working with an international expert in Selective Mutism, Dr. Steven Kurtz, ABPP. Dr. Funderburk and Dr. Kurtz were connected through another mental health program for young children (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy). We convinced Dr. Kurtz to come and talk about Selective Mutism at the Child Study Center. He agreed, and pitched the idea that we replicate his Selective Mutism program, Mighty Mouth Kids Camp. The project set for a few months as we contemplated how we could make this work in Oklahoma. However in December of 2016, Dr. Kurtz sprang us into action. He agreed to come and do a training in Oklahoma and Dr. Shawler agreed to travel to New York to attend and participate in Dr. Kurtz’s camp. Within two months, we recruited 10 families for our first Mighty Mouth Kids Camp - OKC. We were so eager to put it on, we over looked scheduling it on Mother’s Day Weekend. It just turned out to be a blessing for the mom’s involved.
Family commitment to help children with Selective Mutism has been a driver of our ongoing efforts. It is with their passion that we have maintained our energy and zest to accomplish our mission. Since 2017 we have held intensive camps, facilitated social skills groups, and provided family treatment with an overwhelming positive response.