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How to Help Your Child Make Friends & Fully Participate in Summer Camp

Summer camp offers a rare opportunity for kids to build social skills and form long-lasting friendships. This promise is particularly attractive to parents of neurodivergent kids, for whom camp may offer a clean social slate.Indeed, a recent survey during the ADDitude webinar, "Choosing the Best Summer Camps for Your ADHD Child: A Guide for Parents," revealed that 62% of caregivers said "making and spending time with friends" was a top priority for their child's summer season.Here are attendees' full responses to our poll question: "When you think about your child's summer plans, what are your top 3 priorities?"Read on for strategies to help your child connect with fellow campers, plus answers to your top questions about helping your child navigate social challenges at camp, provided by Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW, ADHD-CCSP, owner and director of Trip Camp.Most children with ADHD do not need to attend a specialized camp program.

That said, you should communicate with the camp about your child's social strengths and weaknesses, and how they might present at camp. Administrative staff should also educate counselors and camp staff about ADHD.

This webinar provides an overview of common social challenges facing children and teens with ADHD, and is a great resource for camp staff.Understanding ADHD and Social Skills: Next StepsYes, and it's important that you clearly and proactively communicate your expectations to the camp. Tell them that you don't want your child sitting out of all activities, and that you expect the counselors to engage your child if they are sitting alone, wandering about, or otherwise not participating.

(Camps will appreciate your transparency.)The experience of camp is learning how to be in a group. That

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