Is a summer at sleep-away camp the answer? An analysis of the potential benefits of summer camp for students with classroom-based disabilities
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Undergraduate honors thesis / YU onlyPsychology
Throughout my studies in psychology, I found the topics that discussed students with difficulties in the classroom the most interesting. Whether in the case of a reading impairment, a lack of self-control, or an inability to focus on one task for too long, it was meaningful to me to learn why people acted the way they did. Due to my interest in this subject, I chose to do my final project for my developmental psychology course on ADHD students in the classroom. For this project, I interviewed six teachers about their struggles and the solutions they implemented when working with ADHD students. I gained a lot from this project, observing how a person's decreased levels of executive function can cause issues with self-esteem, social skills, and staying organized. ¶ Alfred Adler a founder of positive psychology who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, noted three essential elements to one's emotional health and well-being: the need to feel connected, contribute to something beyond the individual, and feel capable. I noticed during my studies of students with ADHD in the classroom that these students often struggled with emotional health because they did not feel competent, connect beyond the individual or feel as if they were contributing properly to the classroom. I realized that just like in school, at summer camp, children participate in activities that build relationships, build confidence, and potentially allow everyone to find a place where their skills will shine.¶ Through this paper, I will outline the struggles most often faced by individuals with ADHD and Dyslexia in the classroom. I will then provide an overview of the benefits of a summer camp experience. I will then present my hypothesis; How, like two puzzle pieces fitting together, the difficulties ADHD and Dyslexic students face in the classroom can be counterbalanced by the benefits provided by a summer camp experience. To explore my hypothesis's validity, I interviewed eight camp professionals and eight school professionals. I will explore my interviews' results and how they aligned with my initial hypothesis.
Wernick, E. (2023, January). Is a summer at sleep-away camp the answer? An analysis of the potential benefits of summer camp for students with classroom-based disabilities [unpublished honors thesis, Yeshiva University].
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