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On Thursday, Aug. 2, Dr. William Pelham, a world-renowned attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder specialist from Buffalo, N.Y., will visit the summer camp for ADHD children being run cooperatively by the Achievement Center and Mercyhurst College.
The summer camp, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the Mercyhurst campus, is modeled after Pelham’s breakthrough camp for ADHD children, which has been named by the American Psychological Association as model program in service delivery in child and family mental health.
Pelham, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is considered one of the leading experts on ADHD. He has studied many facets of ADHD,including the nature of the cognitive deficit, diagnosis, treatments and family factors.
Pelham visited Mercyhurst several times over the past year in preparation for the new summer program, which blends Achievement Center staff with members of the psychology, human ecology and education departments at Mercyhurst. In addition, about 75 percent of the staff at the summer camp are Mercyhurst students.
This year’s program kicked off June 18 and will run eight weeks, through Aug. 10. The day camp provides services for 25 students after receiving more than 50 applications. The day camp costs about $2,500 per child, which is often offset by scholarships, medical assistance and insurance.
Dr. Marilyn Livosky, associate professor of psychology at Mercyhurst College, was among those who helped lay the groundwork for the new program, something she says the campus couldn’t have done without the Achievement Center.
“This is really a 50/50 program between us and the Achievement Center, and we are very pleased with how this first year has gone,” said Livosky.
Pelham will spend about an hour with the students involved in the day camp from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, then meet with camp staff. At 4:30 p.m., a reception will be held in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center art gallery, Cummings Gallery, for parents, staff, children and others involved in the program.
Mercyhurst faculty involved in the summer camp program are Livosky; Sally Ondrejcak, assistant professor of human ecology; Robert Hoff, director of the psychology department; Diana Bohl, associate professor of education; and Dr. Phillip Belfiore, director of the college’s special education graduate program.
The Achievement Center is a nonprofit agency that provides therapeutic services for children. While it has offered programs for ADHD children, none have been on the scale of the summer treatment program.