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Counseling Services – Story of Hope

A child diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or other social or emotional challenges may struggle with making friends and handling social situations.

For Mark*, a home-schooled child diagnosed with depression and anxiety, not having the usual school day opportunities for social interaction made it especially difficult for him to relate to other children and get along with peers.

That was until he came to Quest Camp.

For more than 20 years, Quest Camps have helped thousands of children make dramatic improvements in behavioral, emotional and social functioning. Quest’s unique system combines recreational activities, behavioral goals and group psychotherapy.

JFCS Counseling Services partnered with Quest Therapeutic Camps to bring the summer camp program to Pittsburgh in Summer 2012; the first of its kind in the area. Most campers leave Quest Camp feeling more confident, with increased self-awareness, and demonstrating improvements in the social and emotional domains of their lives.

Mark blossomed from his first day at camp. Approaching another boy his age, the two instantly discovered their shared passion: Pokémon. Through the following weeks, their friendship continued to grow. As he started to feel more accepted and connected, Mark made great progress on his individualized camp goals, some of which were focused on separating silliness from seriousness and asking others about their interests.

This friendship also continued after camp ended. The boys are able to meet up regularly at the local library to spend time playing table top games and catching up. In a world that often doesn’t quite “understand” kids like Mark, a friend is priceless.

*Name has been changed