ADHD CAMP

By: Shane Symolon
By: Shane Symolon

More than 2 million kids across the country have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADHD is most often treated with drugs like Ritalin.
A local program on the James Madison University Campus called Jump Start is helping these kids.
The goal is to build a toolbox of skills for the kids who normally have trouble organizing themselves and paying attention in class.
"Its a metaphor for a lot of different things that we teach our campers during that two weeks," says Sheryle Moore the director of the camp.
And like real life tools, almost anyone can use them...
"Its kind of interesting most of everything we do can apply to everyone, they're not skills that children without ADHD wouldn't benefit from having."
But the camp uses learning techniques around that content that is specialized for kids with ADHD.
Classrooms settings and activities are changed often throughout the day.
They also use a point system that gives points for useful participation and takes points away for calling out.
"Teaching them directly and being very explicit and recognizing those skills help them especially with ideas of organization and note taking are some of the strongest things that help a great deal."
And it's not just the skills that are important.
"One of the things that we try very hard to do during the week of camp is make it a very positive experience and offer our campers lots of areas where they can experience success because often students with ADHD don't meet with success often."
The ideas and strategies used in the camp were learned right here in the valley.
The Alvian C. Baird Attention and Learning Disabilities center worked in local schools, and got feedback from local parents to put the "toolbox" together.


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