Do you need to look at a challenge you are facing with a new perspective? Would you like to bounce ideas off someone else who can relate to what you, or your child, are going through? Perhaps Cristina can help. As an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome who has mentoring and self-advocacy experience, Cristina would be happy to discuss your concerns and questions. While her personal experience is rooted in Autism Spectrum Disorder, she is happy to meet with anyone with special needs or exceptionalities, their families, or professional supports, to offer new insight and ideas to help you move forward.

What to expect at a session:
Sessions typically last 40-50 minutes. Cristina will ask you some initial questions to better understand your individual situation and needs. She will then share some of her relevant, personal background to help you understand her perspective. You can then work through various questions or concerns that you may have; questions can be submitted in advance, or discussion can be generated as topics arise during the conversation, or a combination of the two. Please note, this program is not a professional counselling service, but rather informal discussion rooted in Cristina’s lived experience.

What past clients have found helpful:

  • various experiences explained with an ‘insider’ ASD perspective
  • reassurance and validation regarding ones personal experiences with (or as) an individual with an ASD
  • brainstorming strategies to move forward

Possible topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • experiencing exhaustion/burn-out
  • processing and expressing emotions
  • coming to terms with a diagnosis
  • coping with the unexpected
  • transitioning to high-school or post-secondary
  • addressing sensory needs
  • self-advocacy as a learned skill
  • challenges with an invisible disability
  • the value of professional supports

Who might like to access this service?

  • individuals who self-identify with ASD
  • parents or caregivers
  • siblings
  • grandparents
  • professional service providers

Meet our Self-Advocate:
Cristina was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult. Since then she has become active in the local ASD community serving as a mentor, public speaker, and self-advocate. In 2014, she co-founded the A-Team Waterloo Region, a peer support group for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome / ASD Level 1. Some of her writing about her autistic experience has been selected for use in online blogs (under a pen name). She has volunteered with KidsAbility and has mentored youth with exceptionalities through WRFN’s LADDER program as well.

Mondays (excluding statutory holidays and September 11th) from 2pm-4pm. Drop in or book an appointment.

To book an appointment or learn more please contact Katie at Katie.Galashan@wrfn.info.