Eyewitness News Anchor Judy Hsu shows us what Camp Star is all about.
"His self-esteem is just really high when he's at camp and some of that lasts throughout the year as well," said mom Susanne Beal.
For Susanne Beal, Camp Star is exactly the type of summer camp her son, Sam, has always needed.
"Based on my son's experiences at summer camps that were not created for kids with ADHD, he was having a lot of difficulty following the rules, keeping his hands to himself, difficulty with transitions from activity to activity. So when I heard about this camp and that it would be very structured, there would be a lot of positive feedback which is really important for my son," Beal said.
Camp Star is a day camp for children with ADHD that combines fun, treatment and skill building into your typical day camp atmosphere.
"It is an evidence-based program, which means it is built around a lot of therapeutic techniques that have proved effective for most children," said Dr. Kristine Kent, clinical director of Camp Star. "It was brought to Chicago area 10 years ago through a collaboration between Jewish Council for Youth Services and the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC saw that there was nothing like this in the Chicago area. They were familiar with the program developer and the program so they brought the program in."
Specially trained camp counselors guide kids through a day of art, academic learning and athletics. The program is built around an intensive behavioral structure of points and positive reinforcement.
"We want to help kids make small improvements without overwhelming them so we are building on small steps each week so we can create small changes that can grow into bigger changes by the end of the summer," said Dr. Kent.
This is the second summer for Beal's son Sam and she says this program has helped her child succeed.
"This camp is a sanctuary for children who have had difficulty in school, traditional camps, difficulty making friends or maintaining friendships," said Beal.
Camp Star runs seven weeks every summer for grades one through seven. For more information, visit https://jcys.org/camp-star.