Award-Winning Summer Treatment Program For Children with ADHD to Be Offered At UB

By Lois Baker

Release Date: June 6, 1997 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An award-winning program to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, will be offered at the University at Buffalo this summer under the direction of William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., UB professor of psychiatry and psychology.

The eight-week program, open to children ages 7-12, will be offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays from late June through mid-August in the Ellicott Complex on the North (Amherst) Campus. A fee will be charged.

The program is noted for it effectiveness in bringing long-term improvement by combining psychosocial treatment in a summer-camp setting with parent training and medical evaluation.

"This is a chance for parents whose children are on Ritalin to decrease dramatically their reliance on medication," Pelham said. "Ritalin alone is not a good treatment. By adding psychosocial treatment, we can cut the dose of medication in half."

One of the nation's leading authorities on the diagnosis and treatment of children with ADHD and other behavioral disorders, Pelham came to UB last September as director of clinical training and director of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Program in the Department of Psychology.

He developed the Children's Summer Treatment Program in 1980 while at Florida State University, then moved it to the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, where he headed the program until coming to UB. The program, offered in less than a dozen sites across the country, was recognized in 1993 by the American Psychological Association for excellence as a model program in service delivery in child and family mental health.

A key component of the summer treatment program is its emphasis on helping ADHD children develop normal peer relationships, one of the foremost difficulties these children face and one that has not been addressed effectively in traditional outpatient settings, Pelham notes.

"To effectively treat problems in peer relationships, therapists need to work with children in the settings in which these difficulties occur," Pelham said. "We treat children with ADHD in a natural setting in which they engage in recreational, classroom and other activities with age-matched peers."

The summer program complements treatment offered during the school year, increasing chances of long-term improvement.

Pelham said one of the best aspects of the program is that is enables all the children enrolled to succeed. "This is one of the few times in their young lives that they have been successful. That can't be underestimated," he said.

Children enrolled in the Summer Treatment Program will be offered participation in a clinical trial of a new once-a-day medication for ADHD that Pelham will be conducting, beginning this fall.

Parents interested in enrolling their children in the ADHD Summer Treatment Program should call the UB Psychological Services Center at 645-3697 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.