Lots of parents decide that summer is the time that they can send their kids to a summer camp for ADHD children. This article will set out a few guidelines on how to do initial research before deciding.
Would a summer camp be a good idea for your ADHD child? If you think so, you may want to know what are some of the criteria for choosing one which will meet your child’s needs. Does your child want adventure, sports, social skills or does he need some help with some learning difficulties? Some camps offer a wide range of activities and you have to decide what is right for your child. When you approach a camp, ask the following questions:-
- Is the camp accredited by anybody or any institution which is officially recognized? It should be a member of the American Camp Association which has a wide range of checks, training, and help for an emergency in place and has trained staff to deal with all this.
- What checks are done on the staff to make sure that they are suitable and do not have a criminal record?. They should be able to show that they do screening based on biometric checks whereby they can access data as regards fingerprints and retinal data.
- Check on emergency procedures, medication regimes, and also if there are enough qualified staff to deal with this. There should be doctors and paramedical staff employed by the camp.
- Ask to see the profiles and curricula of professional staff which should show that they deal with ADHD all year round in other professional settings. If they are claiming to deal with learning difficulties they should have the appropriate qualifications to match that.
- Ask about the ratio of camp counselors to each child. A very good ratio would be one in three although some camps can have just one counselor for up to a maximum of ten children.
- If the camp is accredited, does it have access to a crisis helpline, and can it show where that number is displayed for staff?
- Does the program actually match what your child needs? He or she may need social skills and what sorts of activities are in place to encourage them?
- Ask to see a sample of a typical day’s activities so that you can see whether these would a match for your child’s needs.
- Are you comfortable with their policy on having contact or not with the family?
- Ask to look at the physical activities and green time program as this is an important aspect of most camp activities.
By asking all these questions, you will get a good idea of how the summer ADHD camp is organized and how seriously it takes its accreditation and also the safety and health procedures.
Robert Locke has researched and written on parenting ADHD and children’s issues for many years. He has a blog that deals with child behavior problems which you can check out here.