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Talk on Asperger Syndrome

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With Autism Awareness Month in full-swing, children’s book author and local resident Gretchen Leary, 28, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at 23, will give a talk in Natick on April 26 about her experiences growing up with undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. Leary wrote the book “Really, Really Like Me,” geared toward acceptance of kids both with and without disabilities and available on Amazon. Leary, having grown up with a single mother who moved a lot and had numerous roommates, was forced to adapt to major life changes that are especially difficult for people with autism. “I wasn’t really given any shortcuts or breaks. I was forced to adapt,” she said. The sensory issues, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behavior that often accompany autism were troubling as she grew up-- she once had an ambulance called for a panic attack she had in second grade--but when she was finally diagnosed, everything made sense, even though she still sometimes struggles. “It was like this lightbulb moment... It was a lifechanging experience,” said Leary of her diagnosis, adding that it “explains so much of what I went through.” Leary is married, has worked in corporate jobs, and is hoping to study communications at Boston Collegein the fall. For more information, contact her at Her talk will be in Natick’s Morse Institute Library on April 26 at 2 p.m.

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