Photo: Drum Mama Studios

Thanks to donors, a client on the autism spectrum discovers community through a local drumming circle.

David was not a musician, but he always wanted to be.

A swimmer, Jewish Family Services client, and lifelong Vancouverite, at fifty-nine, David lives with autism.

“Autism is a complicated condition,” explains Kevin Campbell, David’s clinical counsellor at JFS. “Among many things, autism can limit social awareness and interactions.”

With the help of JFS and through the generosity of our donor community, David was seeing his JFS counsellor regularly and growing in his confidence.

But Kevin knew there was more out there for David.

As part of JFS’ Mental Health Outreach program it’s important to support people to enhance their social skills, explore new activities and environments and build human connection. After a few sessions at Drum Mama Studios in Vancouver David was hooked.

“I felt like I’d found my calling,” he says. The drumming circle consists of up to 15 people, playing hand drums of different types. “The best thing is when you start drumming with other people, in the same rhythm.

If you make a mistake, you won’t get in trouble, you just start again.”

David has evolved to be much more social and self-assured. He is more independent, takes initiative in making his own decisions, and follows through. According to Kevin, “David is happy and its wonderful to see him thrive in his new found community.”

For more information on our Mental Health Outreach or counselling programs please visit us at: www.jfsvancouver.ca/counselling