Summer Camps Help Improve Social Skills of Children With ADHD

by Shirley Johanna on  August 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM Child Health News
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Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may benefit from summer treatment program. Thirty-five children with ADHD completed the Cincinnati Children's Summer Treatment Program (STP), a seven-week program providing intensive behavioral interventions within a fun-filled camp setting.
Summer Camps Help Improve Social Skills of Children With ADHD
Summer Camps Help Improve Social Skills of Children With ADHD

Children, ages 8-12, learn to improve social skills, manage frustration and follow instructions while participating in sports and classroom activities. It's one of only 14 evidence-based, award-winning STP programs in the country.

All of the activities at STP involve a large number of trained counselors. There is one counselor for every two children. Treatment is tailored to each child and emphasizes positive reinforcement through a point system. Children gain points for positive behaviors and lose points for negative behaviors.

"This gives children immediate feedback and the children use this feedback to make sure they are aware of their behavior and the effects of their behavior as well as the skills they need to be successful," said Aaron Vaughn, PhD, director of the Summer Treatment Program and clinical psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Parents are encouraged to attend weekly group training sessions provided to learn effective behavior management techniques to improve compliance and promote their child's ability to complete age-appropriate tasks at home and school. Parents also receive a daily report card about their child's day at the STP.

Josh Mervis of Indianapolis commuted more than 90 miles to Cincinnati to enroll his 11-year-old son, Solly, who was diagnosed with ADHD at age 3. "It's been a life-changing experience for my son and my family," said Mervis. "He is a healthier, happier child who can function more on his own."

Over the course of the summer, counselors are able to see children make significant gains that may not occur in outpatient or a therapy setting.

"We know the most effective intervention for children with ADHD is a combination of medication along with behavioral treatments. The treatment offered by STP is the most intensive behavioral treatment that is available," said Jeffery Epstein, PhD, director of the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "And the STP has proven to help children with ADHD develop the skills they need to manage their behavior."

Source: Newswise

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