LOS ANGELES - Students at University of California, Irvine's Child Development Center learn more than history and science.
"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," said Sabrina Schuck, the center's executive director.
Dominic Caito, 14, has been there since 2nd grade, when his ADHD started to make public school tough. He's thrived there.
"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... which goes with his personality of the ADHD," stated Carol Caito, Dominic's mom.
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," Schuck said.
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 recently expanded. In September, it opened the children's school for 119 students. Tuition is about $36,000, but Schuck and her team will apply for certifications to make the school accessible to more families.