Summer Camps and ADHD
Raising a child with ADHD and thinking about let him or her go to a summer camp? Of course you may worry—what if they don’t like changing the environment? How will he handle plenty of social interaction and play without getting irritable or hyperactive? The good news is that a camp can be very beneficial and enjoyable to children with ADHD. Here are some wonderful stories of three boys whose parents decided to send them to camps that offer programs for children with special needs.
Ben is an 11 years old child diagnosed with ADHD. His performance at school was ok, not the best, but his overall social and personal life were fine. His mother decided to enroll him in a day camp in the area. Ben followed a program designed to improve self-control and social interactions. He went on several field trips, watched movies and enjoyed quality time with other children. The camp instructors also took time to talk with the parents, monitor his medication and evaluate his progress. This program helped Ben to boost his confidence and feel good about himself. He also learned new skills about how to make more friends.
Nathan is 14. His parents were concerned about other children picking on him. Nathan enjoys water sports, making a camp on Catalina Island an ideal choice for him. He loved spending time taking diving, sailing, snorkeling and kayaking lessons, and learned about plants and animals found in the water. Beside water sports, he also enjoyed hiking. His mother thinks Nathan’s gained a stronger sense of identity, more confidence and better social skills through his camp experience.
Another boy, Kristian, age 13 also attended summer camps to help him build social skills. Kristian’s parents decided that a camp located in Isabella, Minnesota, may be the best choice for him as this camp’s program aims to improve responsibility, resourcefulness and resilience. The program included archery, riflery and plenty of time spent outdoors. Attending the camp also was beneficial for the Kristian, as his parents noted he was happier and more relaxed afterwards. The counselors and instructors help the children to make better decisions in personal and academic life.
If you haven’t sent your child to a camp before, consider that the next success story may be your child’s story. If your child is in a stable condition, the symptoms are well controlled. Just take note of these steps for a successful camp experience:
- Talk to your child’s doctor to make sure it is okay for them to be enrolled in a camp.
- Consider which activities your child enjoys and choose a program in your area that includes those activities.
- Look for camps that have instructors and coaches trained to deal with special cases, such as ADHD.
- Stay in touch daily with the person who will take care and spend the most time with your child.