The Center for Children and Families WNY will be running the Summer Treatment Program Academic Classroom Enhancement (STP-ACE) study for the next four summers. For the summer of 2023, the program will be run at the Miami FL site only.

The present study will have children with ADHD attend a summer school program for eight weeks. During the summer school program, treatments will be changed and put together to learn about how they work alone and when combined with each other. Before being in the study you will meet with a study investigator to gain your consent to participate, if you want to. Your consent is voluntary. It is expected that the study will last for approximately eight weeks, plus some time in the spring to meet with the study team and answer some questions about your child.


Children in the study will have:

  • Weeks where positive behaviors supports are used as well as weeks when positive behavior supports are not used. Positive behavior supports include goal-setting, use of rewards for meeting goals, and privileges awarded for appropriate behavior. During weeks without positive behavior supports the rewards will be removed, and children will experience a typical summer school setting.
  • Weeks where stimulant medication is used as well as weeks when a placebo is used (e.g., a capsule without any medicine in it).
  • Each day, children will have a different academic accommodation used. An academic accommodation might include special furniture to help the child move their body without getting up, extra time to complete work, tools to reduce distraction (noise cancelling headphones), or frequent breaks. There will also be some days where the classroom supports are like a typical classroom. The academic accommodation will be different each day of the week.

During the study, the child will experience different types of positive behavior support, medication, and academic accommodations.

  • Positive behavior support will include two levels: (1) Behavior Modification – to include a daily behavior report card, rewards in the program contingent on meeting goals, liberal praise and recognition for appropriate behavior, and time out for repeated noncompliant or aggressive behavior; and (2) No Behavior Modification - there will be standard classroom rules (e.g., “Be Respectful of Others,”) and structure for each activity (e.g., children will be seated at individual desks in rows for seatwork). Classroom management will emulate a typical general education setting. Thus, children will receive feedback about their rule violation only. The positive behavioral support condition in place will alternate across weeks in the summer school program. Therefore, all children will experience four weeks with behavior modification in place and four weeks without behavior modification.
  • Medication will include two levels: (1) placebo – a capsule given to the child each morning without any active medication; and (2) .3 mg/kg methylphenidate long-acting generic medication. The medication condition in place will alternate across weeks in the summer school program. Therefore, all children will experience four weeks with medication in place and four weeks without medication. During the research, you will not know whether your child is receiving medication or placebo. (Your study doctor can find out in case of an emergency).
  • Academic accommodations will include five levels: (1) standard classroom; (2) extended time for completing quizzes and assignments; (3) frequent breaks during assignment completion; (4) low distraction work space that includes noise-cancelling headphones and a carrel placed around the work space; and (5) adaptive furniture. The academic accommodation condition in place will alternate across days in the summer school program for all eight weeks of the program.
  • Combining across positive behavior support, medication, and academic accommodations will result in some days where the child receives no intervention (No behavior modification + Placebo + Standard classroom), some days where the child receives each approach alone (for example Medication + No behavior modification + Standard classroom; Extra time on assignment + No behavior modification + Placebo), and some days where interventions are combined (for example Behavior Modification + Medication + Low distraction work space).

At the end of the study, study provided treatment will end and the child will be referred back to the pediatrician, mental health providers in the community and the school district for any approaches the parent wishes to continue.

A child is eligible if:

  • They are completing Kindergarten through 5th Grade
  • They have a diagnosis of ADHD, or have behaviors and impairments consistent with an ADHD diagnosis.
  • Can attend the Summer Program for eight weeks
  • Are able to have all the treatments planned for the study administered (positive behavior supports, medication, academic accommodations)

What happens if you are eligible?

There is no fee for participating in the study. Your child will be invited to attend the ACE program from 8am to 5pm for eight weeks, June 27 — Aug. 19.


To participate in Western New York, contact us through the Western New York Contact Form or call us at 716-359-7500.