The child development school has a learning curriculum like no other and is just for kids with ADHD and autism.
Students at UC-Irvine’s Child Development Center learn more than history and science.
Sabrina Schuck is the executive director. She says, “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 here since second grade when his ADHD started to make public school tough. he’s thrived here.
Michael Caito is Dominic’s father. He says, “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.”
The kids get training in communication, behavior, anger and anxiety management, and more. and there’s a behavioral specialist in class for positive reinforcement.
Carol Caito is Dominic’s mom. She says, “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.”
Schuck pioneered this middle school program and still tweaks the curriculum.
She adds, “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 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.