Kids running down trails, hiking in the mountains, or canoeing on a lake; days and nights of having fun and playing games. Summer camp is a much-needed break from the busy-ness of the school year—a place to relax, retreat, and regroup for kids of all ages, especially those with learning and attention issues. But what about older kids, those getting ready to leave the nest, head off to college, or start a career? Are there camp programs that help teens diagnosed with ADHD and co-occurring conditions prepare for the next step in life?
We talked with several camp directors about programs designed to help teens successfully transition into adulthood.
“We catch a lot of young adults who are falling through the cracks,” says Jennifer Buri da Cunha, M.S., director of the Staff Assistant Experience at Camp Ramapo, a residential transition-to-independence program for young adults, ages 18 to 26, who are pursuing employment opportunities and independent living. “Many of them have learning differences, ADHD, autism, or anxiety and/or depression. They don’t need a clinical setting, but they need more help than they would get at a college receiving accommodations.”
“There aren’t a lot of services out there for students once they leave high school,” says Alicia Bourdon, the summer admissions coordinator for The College Internship Program (CIP) and the Mploy program, designed for young adults with autism and LD who are interested in entering the work force and transitioning to independent living. CIP has programs for young adults ages 18 to 25.
Originally published in ADDitude Magazine Spring 2018