Teen Overcomes Diagnosis to Achieve Success

Published 07/18 2014 05:06PM

Updated 07/21 2014 10:08AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Aubrey McCamy spent the majority of her life knowing she was different but never knew exactly how.

It wasn't until her junior year of high school that she and her family learned she was autistic.

"I was just like 'oh, there is a reason why I'm so weird. Finally, hallelujah," said McCamy.

Growing up she struggled making friends and often kept to herself.

"I don't really understand social things as much like sarcasm is really weird to me and I can't pick it up as easily," she said.

This fall, she hopes to change that when she begins classes at Missouri Western.

McCamy chose the university because it was close to family and offered accessibility assistance.

She's hoping to not only gain experiences but find a group of people she can relate with.

"I think it would be really nice to finally find people who I can just talk to who I can be myself with."  

The university ensures every student is accommodated to have the same educational opportunities as everyone else.

About 50 students receive assistance a semester including those with Autism.

"What's kind of great about Autism is a lot of those students have really above average I.Q. and so they don't need a lot of academic support. What we find is students on the autism spectrum need a lot of social support," said MWSU Accessibility Resource Coordinator Mike Ritter.

Missouri Western says they've discovered that college seems to be welcoming for autistic students.

"We were very concerned when they first started coming to campus.," said Ritter. "What will their issues be; how will they be able to kind of manage this new life of being a college student? And we found that it works out quite well."

McCamy is also looking forward to sharing her special talents with others.

McCamy says she hasn't decided what she will major in but she enjoys english and theater.

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