Johnny is a 6 year old, 1st grader who has been identified at school as disruptive, inattentive and aggressive. His parents and teachers have developed a behavioral program to motivate him to try harder, control his frustration and impulsivity and complete assignments. Johnny's teacher reported that other children do not want to play with him and are afraid he might hurt them. Johnny is capable but cannot complete his schoolwork.
Parents have requested assessment and treatment recommendations. After thorough psychological assessment, Johnny was diagnosed with ADHD-Mixed Style. Medication provided significant improvement in impulse control, attention and completion of academic work. Johnny still had difficulties with peers, interrupting and frustration. There were also continuing problems following sequential directions and poor self-esteem.
During the initial screening to enroll at Quest, the director was able to engage Johnny to focus on personal goals. Johnny wanted to have more friends and not get so frustrated. Parents focused on his ability to follow directions and have a more positive attitude. After observing Johnny, reviewing his history and consulting with parents, the director accepted Johnny to attend the Quest summer program.
Johnny was nervous when he arrived the first day with his backpack filled with his lunch, swimsuit and towel. He was greeted by one of the counselors with his nametag and a friendly face. Johnny was introduced to his counselors who began a name game to relax nervous campers who needed to get to know each other. During the next days, Johnny was observed in a variety of camp activities and in group therapy. Since the boys in his group were young, activities were focused on learning facial cues, working together to make a sculpture with clay and learn to share materials. Johnny and the other campers received feedback and earned points each hour of the day. Counselors focused on positive efforts, things to improve next hour and the amount of points each boy received for his efforts. During activities, counselors cued Johnny on alternative behaviors and skills he could use when he appeared frustrated. While motivated initially by points, Johnny continued to feel prouder and prouder about what he was able to accomplish. Campers included him in play and discussion and Johnny learned to control his impulses and be aware of social cues as two of his important goals.
On the last day of camp, Johnny stood tall to tell his friends goodbye and what he learned at Quest Camp. Along with goals at camp, his parents identified goals at home so that Johnny could earn points at home. His parents also utilized the Directive Parenting program to provide more structure and success at home. When Johnny returned to school that fall, teachers found him to be able to function better in the classroom and playground. Johnny received continued support in the once a week Afterschool program.