Finding a Summer Camp for Your Child with ADHD

by Eileen Bailey

Are you considering sending your child with ADHD off to summer camp this year? If so, you may have many questions. Is your child ready to attend an overnight camp? Should you choose a camp specializing in children with ADHD or a mainstream camp? If your child is going away overnight, is there someone that can give medication? Are counselors prepared to deal with the challenges of children with ADHD? Can a camp provide the supervision your child needs but still allow them to have fun? Will your child make friends? All of these questions are legitimate concerns for parents raising a child with ADHD.


Narrowing Down Your Choices


Whether you are considering an overnight camp or a day camp in your area, there are many varieties of camps available. While some may specialize in specific areas, such as sports, water activities, drama, music or art, others may offer a wide variety of activities on a daily basis, such as swimming, art, field trips and sports. The choices can seem endless.


While you must take into consideration your child’s ADHD, keep their interests in mind as well. Talk with your child about what activities they would like to do. Take some time to browse various camp websites and let your child see what each camp has to offer. Discuss what is similar in the camps and what the differences are. For many months of the year, your child is forced to sit still in a classroom, let the summer camp be somewhere they will be free to express their own personality as well as joining with other children and gaining new experiences.


Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few camps, talk with your child’s teachers. They may have some valuable input on which camp might be a good fit with your child’s abilities.


Some specialized camps also offer academic instruction during the summer to help a child struggling, to enhance their learning or to prevent a child from falling behind during the summer months. Decide in advance if you want your child to receive extra academic assistance during camp and if so, look for camps that offer this service.

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