Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Your Dollars @ Work: Camp Helps Kids with Autism Find Acceptance

This Your Dollars @ Work post features Brainy Camp, one of this year's Baker Summer Camp Program recipients, announced earlier this week. The video below from CNN highlights one young man with autism who had a life changing experience attending camp.

Patrick Gorman is a young man with autism who has attended Camp Connect ASD, part of Brainy Camp, for seven years. "Brainy Camp has helped me grow into a better person and to find friends who know what it's like to live with Asperger's," said Patrick.

"Camp has helped Patrick develop incredible self-awareness," said Patrick's mom. "He now thinks 'It's okay to be who I am. There are other people like me.'"

Watch the video below to learn more about how much Camp Connect has helped Patrick learn and grow.

In the post below, Susan Mehlman, PhD, Assistant Director of Brainy Camps, tells us a little more about the camp:

The mission of Camp Connect ASD is to help youth on the autism spectrum to live well and reach their potential.  We are thrilled Camp Connect ASD will be receiving its first grant from the Autism Speaks Baker Summer Camp Scholarship Fund this summer.  This funding will give a child from a disadvantaged family the opportunity to attend our 7-day residential camp in High View, WV and partake of all our camp has to offer. 

Too often, children on the spectrum are socially isolated and narrowly focused, rarely connecting to others or willing to try new things. At Camp Connect, these children become part of a community where they live, interact and learn from peers, mentors, and healthcare professionals.  They are encouraged to participate in a myriad of activities that are out of their comfort zone, challenging their self-image and expanding their sphere of interest. They attend socialization groups that focus on appropriate peer interactions and therapy/support groups that discuss concerns impacting all youth today, including bullying, peer pressure and staying safe in an unsafe world. 

The long-term goals of our camp interventions are to encourage independence, self-efficacy, self-advocacy, and positive well-being. Participation in Camp Connect becomes a stepping stone for each of our campers in reaching their future goals.   

Visit our website at for updates on workshops and retreats and to learn about the other condition specific camps we have to offer.

Learn more about the Baker Summer Camp Grant recipients announced earlier this week, as well as the first round of our Swimming and Water Safety Scholarship Fund!

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.