Christy Embraces her Asperger’s Diagnosis
Christy has the somewhat unique experience of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), a form of autism, in her 30’s. She says the diagnosis has “empowered me to ask for help if I need it and learn more about Asperger’s Syndrome.”
In the six months Christy has been a Pathways to Independence (PTI) participant, the program has become an important part of her life. She moved to St. Louis City in January of 2014 to live with her brother. Soon after, “I met someone who helped me discover I had characteristics of AS.” She
was diagnosed soon thereafter. “As a result, my family and I actively sought out groups to help me socially.”
Feeling like she is a part of a community is important for Christy. Joining PTI is one of the ways Christy made an effort to improve herself. “I hope to gain independence and be better integrated into the community,” Christy said. By throwing herself into the PTI program a few times each month, she has increased her awareness of and become an active participant in her new city.
With PTI, “I feel like I have a social group. Even though it is still early, I see that expanding the more I get involved.” Christy says, “I’m naturally a soft-spoken person. Through PTI, I’ve learned to speak up so that people can hear me. My confidence has grown and my ability to participate in conversations and initiate them has improved tremendously.”
In just a few short months, Christy has embraced her diagnosis, joined a group where she feels she belongs and is well on her way to strengthening the tools necessary to live with AS. She says, “I don’t feel any different now that I have , it’s just who I am.”