ADHD school focuses on life lessons

School curriculum tailored for students with ADHD, Autism

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Most of the 70 students at a special school in Irvine, California have ADHD, autism, or anxiety issues. The school’s curriculum is based on mounds of research from the NIH and the University of California. Find out how these kids are learning life lessons that will help them just as much as reading, writing, and arithmetic will.

Students at UC Irvine’s Child Development Center learn more than history and science.

Sabrina Schuck, PhD, Executive Director, Child Development Center, University of California, Irvine, said, “What the program aims to do is teach those social skills or those communication skills that we don’t necessarily put any emphasis on in traditional schooling.”

Fourteen-year-old Dominic Caito has been at the school since second grade when his ADHD started to make public school tough. He’s thrived since.

“It was really important for him to be in an environment where he could be successful, and so the extra prompting, the extra time if necessary, the extra coaching would help him kind of get through the things he needed to get through,” shared Michael Caito, Dominic’s father.

The kids get training in communication, behavior, anger and anxiety management, and more. And there’s a behavioral specialist in class for positive reinforcement.

“Having the relationship with the teacher, but also the behavioral specialists that are in the classroom that are constantly giving the feedback, the feedback, the feedback, which goes with his personality of the ADHD,” stated Carol Caito, Dominic’s mom.

Professor Sabrina Schuck pioneered this middle school program and still tweaks the curriculum.

“It is very much a laboratory school environment in which we are collaborating with investigators across the university to try new things that we believe support our mission and our model and are in line with our philosophy,” said Dr. Schuck.

Parents take an eight-week training program and go to weekly meetings, so they can help ease the kids from school back into real life.

UC Irvine is expanding and in September will open the children’s school for 119 students. It’ll be a private school at first, and tuition will be about 36,000 dollars. But Dr. Schuck and her team will apply for certifications to make the school accessible to more families.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved. Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Ken Ashe, Editor; and Rusty Reed, Videographer.