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City program makes camp a possibility for youth with behavioral health challenges

Before 2016, Miguel Batiz spent countless summer days in his Holmesburg bedroom, using the computer, playing video games, and eating. Aside from trips with his mother and two younger siblings to ride bikes or visit nearby parks, he stayed home, nearly isolated.

When the school year neared its end in 2016, his mother Dorothy Miller worried that Batiz, who struggles to socialize and doesn’t like sports, would spend another summer in the house. Batiz was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a child, and later diagnosed in 2018 with “high-functioning” autism.

Miller shared her concerns with one of Batiz’s therapists, and mentioned that she could not afford camp. Immediately, the therapist mentioned a grant offered through the city’s Department of Behavioral Health that provides money for children with behavioral health challenges to attend camp.

In the years since, Batiz, now 15, has flourished at the Northeast Family YMCA’s day camp on Knights Road. And it’s all thanks to the Madeline Moore summer camp grant, Miller said.

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