Telling a child that he or she is limited in what they can do in life is committing a crime of the highest order. West Georgia resident.
People never expected Haley Moss to be able to handle a minimum wage job.
Though, people can oftentimes be wrong.
When Haley was only a couple of years old, her parents recognized that there was something different about her. She was incredibly intelligent and talented in certain areas, but struggled in social situations. When she was 3 years old, she was officially diagnosed with autism.
Doctors told Haley’s parents that life would be a battle for her. They said she would find it difficult to make friends, finish high school, or even get a driver’s license. They said she probably would not be able to work.
Haley’s parents could have relayed the gloom and doom opinions on her limitations to Haley and just accepted them. But, they saw their daughter’s worth and taught her that she could do anything she set her mind to.
The doctors were partly correct. Haley’s childhood was difficult. Among other challenges, she had trouble connecting with children her age and didn’t understand various social cues. This is the most common and painful part of living with autism.
I give you my word that parents go through a lot of emotions when they find out their child has autism. Fear that their child will be bullied or unable to support themselves as they become an adult persists until you give it to God.
But, her parents continued to have faith, were encouraging, and truthful with her. They did not limit or shelter her from the world. They kept reminding her of the talents she had been given at birth.
When Haley was a toddler, she could not speak. But, she could put together a complex 100-piece puzzle. Haley grew to learn how to analyze her weaknesses and strengths. She became more self-aware and more confident as the years passed.
Haley hopes that when parents with autistic children look at her, they see that autism nor people have the power to limit a person’s future. “It definitely wasn’t easy. There was a lot of work. There are still things that are very difficult for me. I was always interested in making a difference and wanted to make a difference in the disability community. I have an opportunity to change the conversation for the better. I can really shape things. They see me and think, ‘This is what my kid might be like’. People on the spectrum are so talented and diverse.”
Today, Haley Moss has friends and a driver’s license. She uses that driver’s license to go to work as the first openly autistic lawyer in the state of Florida.
She has shown the world that those with autism can make their dreams come true regardless of their challenges, the ignorance of others, and/or people defining what level of success an autistic child should have.
Haley has already written two books about living with autism and has inspired countless people across the nation. During her years at the University of Miami School of Law, she realized she had the ability to completely transform the way that the world looks at those with autism. She recently passed the Florida bar and became an associate at the Zumpano Patricios law firm.
At the firm, Haley specializes in antiterrorism and health care. Those cases can have a million documents. She is tasked with remembering names, bank accounts, and relationships along with providing strategic advice when dealing with legal adversaries.
Haley Moss has shown the world two things:
- Never allow anyone to set limits on your goals and dreams; and
- Autistic children are born with abilities that are extremely rare and valuable.
Thank you for your courage, perseverance, and drive, Ms. Moss.
Your example will make millions believe when only doubt existed before.