LOOKING FORWARD: Budding artist Tenielle Cridland pushes her creative boundaries and dabbles in all mediums and themes when it comes to her artwork and is now pushing her personal boundaries as part of the YLYC program.
LOOKING FORWARD: Budding artist Tenielle Cridland pushes her creative boundaries and dabbles in all mediums and themes when it comes to her artwork and is now pushing her personal boundaries as part of the YLYC program. Linden Morris

Supporting their life choices

MOVING to university to study art or anything to do with film making is Tenielle Cridland's dream.

However, unlike her friends, the bright and creative 19-year-old has a few hurdles to overcome on her way to moving out of home.

Tenielle was diagnosed with aspergers when she was just three years old and her father Tony describes his daughter's biggest challenge as "assimilating or fitting into the community".

The problems Tenielle and others like her face have been recognised by the State Government with the Your Life Your Choice program being started by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

YLYC offers funding families can use to tailor personal support programs that relate to the individual's specific needs or desired outcomes.

Since starting the program at the beginning of last month, Tenielle said she was feeling optimistic about her future.

"My confidence level is improving and I'm more involved in the community and creative groups," she said.

"It has even allowed me to think about the possibility of moving to Brisbane for uni.

"I would love to study anything creative or something to do with film making, special effects or character design."

Mr Cridland said while the execution of simple day-to-day tasks came easily to most, those were the things people with aspergers struggled with, and what Tenielle's YLYC program was focusing on.

"It really focuses on things like shopping, budgeting, taking care of yourself, cooking, timetabling, walking around town and interacting with new people," he said.

Tenielle's mother Kerrin explained the role of Tenielle's carers or companions as "guiding her through the world outside of the home".

"Her goal is to become totally independent so she can achieve her dream of going to uni," Mrs Cridland said.

For more information on YLYC visit www. communities.qld.gov.au/ disability/key-projects/ your-life-your-choice.

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