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“Zach can be himself while making new friends”

Zachary and his mom Jenny like to go to the park and spend time in the sunshine. It hits all of Zach’s needs for play and nature and his mom loves to see him having fun with other kids. He’s happiest when around other people, but Jenny worries whether Zach’s playmates will accept him when he’s a little bit different. Zachary is autistic and communicates nonverbally and she worries other kids won’t know to react or play with him. But it’s not something she has to worry about when Zachary is at Stepping Stones’ Summer Day Camp.

At Camp, Zach communicates with picture boards to indicate how he’s feeling and what he wants to do. This, alongside sensory supports, and the structured nature of the program have made Summer Day Camp a place where Zach can be himself while making new friends. A memory stands out that gives Zach’s mom, Jenny, a sense that he’s flourishing in a supportive group of peers. She had come to pick him up early and Zach was delivered to her by his camper group and counselors, all waving goodbye with shouts of “see you tomorrow!”. For Jenny, this small yet poignant moment showed her that Stepping Stones is a place where her son is a valued member of a group and where he’s making friends.

Will you consider a donation to support Stepping Stones and participants like Zachary?

We sincerely appreciate your support!

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