School’s out. It’s time for fun, sun, and some heavy-duty relaxation. But what happens to students who still need the support they received during the school year?
Summer elicits sighs of relief from parents and children alike as academic duties lighten and schedules loosen. However, this break in everyday activity has its own difficulties, particularly for children dealing with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). While all children lose ground academically during the summer, the backslide for children with AD/HD or learning differences can be especially challenging. These children tend to do better in structured settings and rely more heavily on the greater levels of supervision, feedback, and reinforcement they receive at school.
The North Carolina Summer Program for Kids is here to help. Developed by the UNCG AD/HD Clinic with educational partner Noble Academy (a Greensboro private school for students with learning differences), the NC Summer Program offers 7 to 13-year-olds with AD/HD a fun, structured, and supportive day camp experience. Attending children get the typical camp experience – outdoor fun, new activities, and the chance to make new friends. But they also get programming that helps them keep up with school work and improve their relationships with peers.
“What is great about the model that our program follows is that it is specifically designed around the needs of children with AD/HD,” says Dr. Kristen King, the program’s Assistant Director of Behavioral Programming. “To the children, it feels like a camp, but it’s really a therapeutic day program designed to help children with AD/HD work on social, academic, and athletic skills and build self-esteem.”
Parents also participate in the program by attending a weekly educational session. There parents learn ways to better parent-child relations and child behavior.
The UNCG AD/HD Clinic developed the NC Summer Program in response to a request from the local community support group Parents of Children with ADHD. The first of its kind in North Carolina, the Summer Program is a modified version of Dr. William E. Pelham’s highly successful and respected Summer Treatment Program (STP). The method receives consistent research support, holds strong appeal for both parents and children, and is recognized as a model program across the nation.
Learn more about the NC Summer Program, which will incorporate UNCG graduate and undergraduate students as camp counselors, at http://add.about.com/od/summerissues/a/North-Carolina-Summer-Program-For-Kids.htm.