Schreiber Pediatric Center - Meet the 2016 Ambassadors: Sophia Panzini

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March 4, 2016

Meet the 2016 Ambassadors: Sophia Panzini

Posted by Dan  Permalink 

This week, I've been writing about our 2016 Schreiber Ambassadors. Every year, a handful of parents accept our request to have their kids be our Ambassadors for a year. And every year, we have a handful of amazing stories to tell, stories that let us put faces on the work we do here at Schreiber. Today, say hello to the fourth and last member of the group, Sophia Panzini.

Sophia Panzini

Sophia Panzini

Age: born 3/21/97 (18, turning 19 in March)
Diagnosis: Autism spectrum disorder
Parents: Reenie and Peter Panzini, Manheim Township
Siblings: Edward, 20; Carina, 10
Favorite activities: Listening to music, adult coloring books, playing games on the Wii, collecting jewelry
What she watches and listens to: The Food Network, "Spider Man" movie, Destiny's Child
Favorite food: "Mac and cheese – gluten-free, please!"
When she grows up she want to: "Be a Hollywood singer."
Three words to describe her: Beautiful, sweet and funny
What else to know about Sophia: She attends Schreiber's Club 625 events, making friends and being a teenager.

Like a lot of kids with autism, Sophia Panzini is reluctant to look people in the eye when she talks to them. But when she's posing for a picture, she loves the camera -- and the camera loves her.

Here's her story, in the words of her mom Reenie.

"Sophia was diagnosed with autism when she was 8, and we had just moved to Lancaster from New York City. Her pediatrician told us about Schreiber, and we practically ran there! We didn't know anything about therapy or autism, and we were literally walked slowly through everything step by step. Sophia learned to have conversations, hold writing instruments, walk up and down stairs without crying, and so much more. We (as a family) learned that we're stronger than we thought, and that you can get through anything with enough love and a lot of humor."

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