Camp for Kids with ADHD
(New York - WABC, August 8, 2006) (WABC) -- Camp is a highlight of the summer for many kids, but especially for one special group of children who are attending a unique program created by the NYU Child Study Center. Not only is it good for the kids, but for the parents as well. Michelle Charlesworth has the story.
This is ten-year-old Jamie O'Neill's second summer attending the "Summer Program for Kids," with activities every day that he loves to do.
His mother loves the camp too. Her son's been diagnosed with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder just like every other camper here.
It's a condition affecting a child's behavior, academic performance and social skills, making regular camp for these kids difficult. But this program, developed by the NYU Child Study Center can handle the challenge.
Karen Frieman, Jamie's Mother: "It's tremendously important. What he gets out of the program is positive reinforcement. Not only positive reinforcement of good behaviors, but also a positive social reinforcement. It's really a place where he can be himself."
While these camp activities may seem like fun and games to the kids, they go far deeper and are designed specifically for kids with their condition. The experience instills social behaviors and teaches lessons they may otherwise have a hard time learning.
Karen Fleiss, Co-Director, NYU Summer Program for Kids: "We try to create a very positive and supportive environment so that it is fun for the children. We are trying very hard to to affect behavior change and to help them develop the skills ... In the academic as well as the the home setting."
The program is far more structured and predictable than a regular camp, Fleiss says, which these children require. And with a staff to child ratio of nearly one to one, each camper gets critical individual attention. It allows constant monitoring of their behavior and immediate rewards for doing well.
Daniel Kamins, Counselor: "I mean these kids who are brushed aside in school, they don't get the time they need and in this program- they're really put in an environment where they really can succeed."
Parents take part in weekly training sessions, which helps the children at home as well.
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