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Inspirational Student with Autism: Haley Moss

Haley Moss is an autistic teenager from Parkland, Florida.  She is also an artist and a writer.  At 16 years old, she currently has her artwork being shown at various South Florida galleries and has published her first book.  She is a student at the Pine Crest High School in Ft. Lauderdale and attributes part of her success to the great teachers at the schools she has attended.  She attends regular classes, and until now, many of her fellow classmates didn’t even realize that she had autism; they just thought she was shy.

Autism

Haley is a high-functioning autistic girl who gets good grades and is able to strive in mainstream classes.  She struggles socially, but realizes that it is just part of who she is, not all of who she is.  Her book, Middle School:  The Stuff Nobody Tells You About, is about her struggles through middle school and how her experiences can help other students to be successful both academically and socially through the awkward years of middle school.

Haley began speaking openly about her autism when she spoke at a national conference on Autism.  Today, 1 in 110 children have autism, and 1 in 70 are boys.  Many of her classmates didn’t know she had autism until she spoke out about it while her artwork was beginning to be presented at local South Florida Galleries and had several articles and TV interviews during April – Autism Awareness Month.  Her digital art, created with a computer, is a cross between Japanese cartoons and whimsy.  Many of her pieces relate to her life including her friends, her struggles, and her mother.

Part of Haley’s success can be attributed to her parents who were persistent and tried various therapies until they found a combination of successful tools that helped Haley to speak, read, and learn social stills.  They stress that they never gave up – nor should other parents in similar situations.

Besides being an author and artist, Haley is also starting a jewelry line.  Many of the proceeds from her various works help to aid various organizations that support autism research and assistance.  There is a current article including information about her book and picturing various electronic paintings created by Haley in the South Florida Parenting Magazine.  You can also check out what Haley, this extraordinary teenager is up to on her website.

This inspirational teenager will stimulate both teachers and parents to continue to work with their children to find what tools, technology, therapies, and academic modifications can help them both academically, socially, and with life skills and to help them live the most independent and successful life.

Article By: Laura Ketcham

Picture By: Beverly & Pack

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