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Are you looking for something more than medication to help improve your teen's behavior? The Center for Children and Families (CCF) at Florida International University (FIU) offers a summer program for teens based on the award-winning comprehensive Summer Treatment Program for younger children. The program runs from late June or early July through mid-August, on weekdays.
The STP offers a comprehensive treatment program for teen's behavioral, emotional, and learning problems. This program is composed of a set of evidence-based treatments incorporated into an 8-week therapeutic summer day camp setting. Group and tailored individual treatment plans are implemented by trained paraprofessionals under the supervision of experienced senior staff members.
Sessions consist of a group of adolescents paired with clinical staff members for the duration of the day, encouraging development of group interaction and friendships. Our Goals:
- Development of the adolescent's problem solving and social skills, and of the social awareness necessary to enable him/her to get along better with other adolescents
- Improvement of the adolescent's study skills, organization habits, and academic performance
- Development of the adolescent's abilities to follow instructions, to complete tasks that he/she commonly fails to finish, and to comply with adults' requests
- Improvement of the adolescent's self-esteem by developing competencies in areas necessary for success in adolescence, such as leadership skills, interpersonal skills, athletics, and academics
- Increased familiarity with the process of applying for, obtaining, and holding a part-time job, as well as managing one’s earnings
- Instruction for parents in how to develop, reinforce, and maintain these positive changes
- If appropriate, evaluation of the effects of medication on the child's academic and social functioning in a natural setting
Treatment includes individually adapted reward and response-cost programs aimed at improving behavior, organization, academic performance and social skills; training in group problem solving, social, and contracting skills; strategies for efficient studying, enhanced test performance, and complete and accurate note-taking; and a daily feedback system designed to increase adolescent self-monitoring and self-awareness. Adolescents will apply for and hold paid positions within the STP-A (i.e. junior counselor, newspaper editor, business manager), and the group will plan and manage its own business. Treatment plans and strategies are continuously monitored and modified as necessary. Adolescent Program Schedule:
Adolescents will receive an individualized schedule designed to meet their treatment needs and will participate in a variety of activities during the day. A typical schedule may look as follows:
8:20-9:15 Classroom 1 (Health or Writing)
9:15-10:10 Classroom 2 (History or Science)
10:10-10:50 Organization Skills Training
10:50-11:55 Sports Game
11:55-12:25 Free Lunch/ Detention
2:45-3:55 Skill Drill
3:55-4:25 Study Hall
4:30-5:00 Daily Feedback/Free Time
A final report, which includes detailed information regarding the effects of these interventions and recommendations for future treatment, is sent to parents and referring professionals at the end of the program.Parent Training Groups
Parents form an integral part of STP-A by participating in weekly group evening sessions. Parent sessions are designed to help parents develop skills to reduce problem behaviors, to improve their child's task skills and relationships with parents and peers, and to maintain and extend the gains made in the STP-A to the child's natural at-home environment.
If indicated, the efficacy of medication treatment for the adolescent is evaluated. A comprehensive and carefully controlled evaluation is conducted covering all major areas of the adolescent’s functioning (i.e., social behavior, academic performance and productivity, and self concept) that could be affected by medication treatment. By evaluating medication effects in conjunctions with other treatments, the effectiveness of combining medication with those treatments is addressed. Following assessment of medication effects, the program provides the referring physician and parents with a report detailing the adolescent’s response to medication and makes specific recommendations regarding the possible usefulness of psychoactive medication for continued treatment.
Adolescents entering grades 7-12 are eligible. Enrollment is limited, and participants are selected based on an evaluation conducted by program staff. Information required for admission is collected by program staff upon application. Recent testing from other sources may be helpful in supplementing the intake process. Teens with ADHD, oppositional disorders, aggression, learning problems, or teens with mixed behavior and learning problems are evaluated. Referrals can be made by school personnel, mental health professionals, physicians, or parents. Those adolescents who meet certain criteria are offered admission.
The program is implemented by highly trained, undergraduate paraprofessional therapists, students pursing advanced degrees in psychology, and educational specialists. Supervision and oversight are carried out by highly experienced staff members who have been conducting treatment programs for ADHD children for over 20 years. The psychosocial and behavioral aspects of the program are supervised by doctoral level psychologists. The medical aspects of program are supervised by developmental pediatricians and/or child psychiatrists. While in the classroom, adolescents are supervised by a teacher and a developmental aide. For more information on working in the STP-A, please see the Employment and Internship Opportunities page
Program Evaluation and Investigation
The STP-A is based on the STP for younger children which uses treatments that have only been well documented and shown to be effective through research; however, program staff continue to evaluate treatment effectiveness. Data are gathered via several methods, including observational, psychometric, neuropsychological, and rating measures, evaluated to determine individual and group responses to treatments.
To help further the understanding of behavioral problems in adolescents, information is gathered from adolescents and their families enrolled in the program. Adolescents may be asked to participate in a variety of programs, including performance measures of computerized tasks involving different aspects of learning, attention, and memory, or assessing how adolescents interact with one another in competitive task situations. Similarly, parents may be asked to complete rating scales or to be observed in controlled settings that measure different aspects of family functioning. In order to maintain confidentiality and a complete understanding of these projects, parents are asked to sign consent forms that describe each project prior to their adolescent’s participation in the project. Fees
Fees for the Summer Treatment Program for Adolescents are established in recognition of the cost of offering such a service. Health insurance plans may cover portions of the cost of this program; however, payment levels vary depending on the specific provisions of respective plans. During the application and screening process, each parent has an opportunity to meet with a representative from the Center for Children and Families, who can answer questions concerning health care benefits and other important financial aspects associated with the Summer Treatment Program for Adolescents.
How to Apply
To initiate the enrollment process, interested parents or professionals should call the Center for Children and Families at (305) 348-0477, between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or write to:Center for Children and Families
Florida International University
11200 S.W. 8th Street
HLS I Rm. 146
Miami, FL 33199Enrollment is limited, and parents are encouraged to apply as early as possible!
Please note that the STP-A is a day treatment and does not provide housing for children. Parents who do not live in the Southern Florida area may pursue their own housing arrangements for the summer.