After hosting an initial meeting July 10, Cathy Michaluk says there is ample need and interest in the Yorkton area to develop supports to serve adults diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
“People are excited. The meeting was small but positive and lots of good ideas were shared. There is definitely a strong interest to develop the program,” says Cathy.
Cosmin Coltea works for Sunrise Health in the Children’s Therapy Program whose mandate is to support children 0 – 19 years of age who have been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. He attended the meeting, not as a representative of Sunrise Health, but out of his own personal interest in seeing support being organized and offered for adults.
“Parents and adults know best what their needs are,” says Cosmin. “Only good things can happen when people get together and share resources,” he adds.
One of the groups main focus will be in advocacy and education to employers.
“People with Asperger syndrome are highly-focused individuals that can stay on task. They have a lot to offer employers if they could just get past the initial meeting,” says Cosim referring to the lack of social skills typical of people with Asperger syndrome.
Vince Palumbo seems to agree. Diagnosed as high-functioning Asperger syndrome at the age of three, he knows the struggle and sometimes frustration any young adult faces trying to find footing in a meaningful career. He has the added pressure of not always making a good first impression.
“We all have our strengths and things to contribute to society,” writes Vince in an email following the meeting.
“Increased communication with employers could be a good thing,” he adds.
The group plans to meet again in late August. For more information, contact Cathy Michaluk at (306) 547-3454 or by emailing cathymicha...@gmail.com
Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder typically characterized by difficulties with communication and social interactions.