Camps for kids with behavior issues

Day and summer camps are a fun way to introduce children to people and activities not normally experienced on a daily basis. For parents of children with behaviour issues, however, there are special considerations. According to Dr. Karen Fleiss in a February 2007 newsletter for the New York University Child Study Center, parents should search for camps with a low instructor-to-child ratio, and experience and knowledge in working with children with needs such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or Asperger Syndrome.

NYU Summer Program for Kids

The NYU Summer Program for Kids is exclusively for children with ADHD between the ages of seven and 11 1. This camp is unique in that it is a seven-day-a-week program based on a study by the National Institutes of Mental Health. While the camp focuses on teaching children social, academic and athletic skills, instructors also help parents learn how to better relate to their children. Camp counsellors are upperclassmen in college or graduate students.

The camp serves about 50 to 55 students each year at the SUNY Maritime College in Fort Shuyler, New York. It runs from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. for seven weeks and cost £6,045 in 2010. Because the camp is a clinical treatment program, parents should check with health insurance plans for reimbursement. Enrolment applications should include a clinical assessment that verifies the child's eligibility for the program.

NYU Summer Program for Kids 1981 Marcus Avenue, Suite C-102 Lake Success, New York 11042 212-263-0760 1

The Help Group

The Help Group is the largest non-profit operating educational programs for children with a wide range of special needs 2. In addition to its schools in California, the non-profit runs day camps for children aged three and 18 who have learning disabilities, autism, mental and emotional problems, ADHD and mental retardation.

Most camps run for one week, from morning to early afternoon. Camp Discovery is for children with mild to moderate special needs. The focus of the camp is on nature, outdoor recreation, crafts, art and music. Speech, occupational and music therapists help counsellors incorporate therapy into the program. Teens On the Go is for high-functioning teens or teens with Asperger Syndrome. The focus of the camp is on social skills and counsellors take teens on tours throughout the Los Angeles metro area. The Kids Like Me Village Glen Camp helps children with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism with social skills. Kids Like Me Sunshine Camp serves children five to 18 with mild to severe autism and developmental disabilities, and helps develop social skills as well.

The cost in 2010 ranged from £143 for a two-day session to £429 for some five-day-a-week sessions. Parents must fill out an application that describes their child's special needs and in some cases, may have to have to interview before admission.

The Help Group 13130 Burbank Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, California 91401 877-943-5747 2

Camp Huntington

Established in 1961, Camp Huntington is a residential summer camp for children and young adults aged six to 21 with learning and development disabilities, ADHD, autism and other special needs. The camp focuses on recreation adapted for children with disabilities and therapeutic activities. There are three programs: one for autism, Asperger Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD); one for the developmentally disabled; and one for learning disabled or children with ADHD. Campers engage in swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, film making and drama.

The summer camp lasts six weeks, though parents may choose to enrol their child for one week, two weeks or three weeks as well. The cost in 2010 for a full session was £7,052. A one-week session was £1,296, a two-week session was £2,567 and a half-session was £3,867. Applicants must set up a time for an interview and campus visit, submit their child's individual education plan and two reports from professionals working with the child.

Camp Huntington 56 Bruceville Road High Falls, New York 12440 845-687-7840