Mark Pastuszka (18) of Rainworth, said his experiences at Mansfield’s Myplace Young People’s Centre, had enabled him to settle in and thrive during the first few months of his BSc Computer Science degree course.
The Mansfield lad, who is studying at the University of Lincoln, has also chaired Nottinghamshire County Council’s Pioneers youth forum representing the rights of young people with disabilities.
He said: “When I first joined the youth club I struggled with social situations and needed support to take part in activities and make friends.
“I would get very anxious if there were changes that I was not aware of and would get emotional and upset. With Asperger Syndrome, I simply could not cope with change.”
The Myplace Young People’s Centre disability support team provided Mark with support to manage Asperger’s and his confidence grew.
With staff support he became much more settled and got more and more involved in the youth activities and then joined the Pioneers youth forum, where he was involved in auditing the accessibility of buildings.
Mark added: “I would simply not have had the confidence to cope at University had it not been for the coping strategies I learnt.”