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July 1, 2011

Summer Camp Teaches Social Skills

This sounds great for wealthy parents, but at more than $1,000 per week it's out of the question for the majority. If they're training grad students and using it for research it should be more in line with a regular summer camp i.e. no more than $200 - $300 per week.

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Specialized Summer Camp Teaches Social Skills, Sportsmanship

PHOTO: Reed Tucker, 8, is spending his first summer at Camp STAR in Highland Park, Ill., where campers earn points and rewards for good behavior and lose points for breaking rules.

Reed Tucker is a bright 8-year-old who lights up a room and delights others with his wicked sense of humor. But when he entered the second grade last fall, the impulsivity and defiance from his ADHD escalated. Medications helped somewhat, but his mother credits his ability to complete tasks to a special summer day camp north of Chicago where arts and crafts, sports and field trips provide as much therapy as recreation.

At Camp STAR in Highland Park, Ill., Reed and fellow campers with ADHD, anxiety and socially disruptive disorders earn points and rewards for participation and following rules. They lose points and receive timeouts for angry outbursts, rule-breaking or other inappropriate behavior.

Parents pay $6,300 for the six-week session, which began on June 13 and ends July 29, with 30 percent of the families receiving some financial assistance, said clinical psychologist Mark A. Stein, the camp director. Counselors are students or graduate students going into pediatrics, psychology or social work. Their detailed observations contribute to research into the program's effectiveness, Stein said.


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