Adolescents

Kevin's parents were concerned about his isolation and inability to maintain friendships. At school, teachers could not find a way to keep his attention. His work was good quality when he completed it but he would often become distracted. School staff was frustrated with the lack of cooperation and accommodations provided were limited. During the screening, Kevin was able to maintain eye contact and participate in conversation. He became especially enthused when asked about his interests. He proceeded to discuss his fascination with trains. Without prompting, he would lecture regarding the various engines and whistles. His recreation was taking photos of trains. He would get his parents to drive him throughout California to take these. When redirected towards the screening, he had difficulty maintaining attention on the conversation and wanted to return to main interest.

Kevin was hesitant to come to Quest. He really didn't want to make more friends or participate in any of the activities. He did agree to try camp, especially when he heard he would be paid. Once Kevin came to camp, he found others similar to him. No one was being mean or ignoring him. He was readily included socially and found that he enjoyed the interactions. No one was interested in trains but they would listen for a while. Counselors provided feedback to "pay attention to social cues" so Kevin would be more aware of others' interest and reaction to his interactions. As he realized that there would be no criticism of his ability, Kevin participated in all sports and actually was surprised that he could do so well. He increased his attention to others' interests and "initiated interactions to make more friends" as one of his goals stated.

As a Senior Camper, Kevin had additional responsibilities at camp. He became involved in the summer community project, helping to raise more than $1400 for the Boys and Girls Club. He also learned to mentor younger campers, providing one-to-one support while counselors led the activities. Kevin helped organize snacks and lunches with additional responsibilities of helping develop activities planned by his group. As a benefit, instead of just shopping at the Quest store each week, Kevin received a check of $18.00 based on points earned at camp and home.

Kevin included himself more as his 3-week stay continued. His affect and focus improved and he was engaged with others in the program. During group therapy, he was an active participant in team building exercises, discussions and feedback sessions. As a Senior Camper, Kevin learned to mentor younger campers, participated in the Quest Senior Camper community service activity and assisted in his responsibilities. Working with the group was a positive experience. Kevin even admitted that he enjoyed himself and getting to know others.