Sky Explores the World Around her
Sky is a unique PTI participant. Up until a few years ago, Sky interacted with others in the same manner as you and I. While she was working to more fully understand social etiquette, she was able to communicate quite readily. Following a medical condition, her communication style and abilities have changed. She no longer expresses herself with as much verbal language, but her ability to read people and to engage with others using her actions is how she has established her personality and her presence in the world around her. Sky has been a participant for almost ten years and in that time, the PTI community has been a place where she feels comfortable and has a sense of belonging. “Her main hobby is people,” Sky’s mother says, “She likes to be with people …and when we heard about Pathways, it seemed like a natural fit.”
A few years ago, Sky went through a rough patch trying to find the right medicine. Sky’s mother, Laura, says throughout her ups and downs, “Pathways to Independence has been a constant in her adult life and a positive experience.” Having PTI as a constant where she interacts with peers her age doing a variety of activities she enjoys “helps her to be out in the world, [boost] self-esteem and feel normal,” Laura says.
The support of PTI staff and fellow participants helped Sky to overcome challenges. Laura says that PTI has helped her with “knowing how to stay safe and knowing she can be in different situations and be fine. It might rain, be cold, crowded, but she’s learning she can get through and enjoy experiences.” Also, PTI has provided a safe environment where Sky feels at ease being in new places, trying new things and learning new skills, like bowling, riding the metro link and money handling.
Sky says, “I enjoy Pathways,” at dinner and movie at the Galleria, a PTI event she attends nearly every month. Program Manager, Jessie, says about Sky, “Her face lights up when she arrives and sees familiar faces. Other participants are welcoming to her, pleased to see her and are very good about including her and asking her questions.”
Sky’s mother, Laura, concludes with saying, “She wouldn’t be willing to try new things if she knew she hadn’t had success in other activities with PTI before. She sees the world as a much more inviting and interesting place because of the things she’s done with Pathways.”
Sky(left) with a fellow participant at The Old Courthouse
Sky (center) with participants at the Tiger Sanctuary in St. Genevieve