Camp STAR helpful, fun for kids with ADHD

August 12, 2012 7:34:21 AM PDT
Five years ago, an exceptional camp was created for children with ADHD.

The camp has therapeutic programs, including, recreational activities, and there are only 10 camps like it in the United States.

Camp STAR was started by a professor who specializes in Attention Deficit Disorder at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He partnered with the Jewish Council for Youth Services to create a camp that is structural with a lot of fun.

Thirty-six children from ages 6 to 13 attended Camp STAR for sevens week this summer. They are from the Chicago area. The camp meets at Indian Trail school in Highland Park.

The ratio between camper and counselor is 2 to 1.

Founder Dr. Mark Stein says this is a summer treatment program that looks and functions like a camp.

"The counselors are highly trained in delivering this behavior modification program," Stein said. "There's also a clinical program in terms of helping develop appropriate diagnoses for children, finding the right medication regiment."

"There's also an educational component. They spend two periods in the academic learning center because children with ADHD, many of them have learning weaknesses," said Stein. "We also have a parent training program where we meet with the parents. It's really a comprehensive program that works with the children in terms of their peer relationship."

The cost for Camp STAR is more than $6,000.

Gretchen Goodrich's 6-year-old son Collin attended for the first time this summer.

"He's been diagnosed with ADHD. He also has a couple of other issues, some sensory processing issues and definitely some anxiety," said Goodrich, who also said she saw amazing changes with her son after five weeks.

" Dr. Stein asked me, 'How often does he do what you ask the first time you ask it, what percentage?' And I was like, 'Maybe zero percent.' Now if I ask him to do something -- they've taught me a way to say it -- almost 60 or 70 percent of the time, he's doing what I ask him to do the first time, which is incredible," the mother said.

"Our goal is to help them to be normalized, but when their ADHD is treated, they are like everybody else, and the wonderful thing is to see them succeed," Dr. Stein said.

If you are interested in learning more about Camp STAR for next summer, now is the time. Visit http://www.jcys.org/campstar/index.html.


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