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When Haley Moss was young, doctors told her parents she would have difficulty living on her own, potentially never able to hold a minimum wage job. Now, she's graduated law school, and become the first openly-autistic person admitted to the Florida Bar.


Moss was diagnosed being on the autism spectrum when she was 3-years-old. As a toddler, she could read and do jigsaw puzzles, but she didn't speak. She finally started speaking at the age of 4.

The young lawyer told CBS News,

"I first shared my story at a conference when I was 13 years old. I've always enjoyed getting to connect and share."

And she's not kidding.





Before becoming a lawyer, she wrote her first book Middle School — The Stuff Nobody Tells You About: A Teenage Girl with ASD Shares Her Experiences when she was 15-years-old. A few years ago, she published a follow-up called A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About!

Moss has contributed essays to collections on people living the autistic experience.

She's also been very active in speaking engagements, doing her best to spread her story and shine a light on people with autism.

"I've always been raised to give back and help others in need and help the community. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes an even bigger village to raise a child with a disability.
"I realized by sharing my story, I could be a part of someone else's village."

The 24-year-old attorney had an employer lined up after graduating last year, contingent on her passing the bar.

She did just that last month.

Her story is very inspiring and gives hope to others, especially neurotypical parents of autistic children.





Both Moss and her employer believe she is the first practicing, openly-autistic lawyer in Florida.

"There are plenty of things that are difficult for me, but I want you to see what I'm good at,"

Moss said.

"I think it's absolutely important to hire people on the autism spectrum. Many of us are unemployed or underemployed."

It's very possible another Florida lawyer may be autistic, but considering support for people on the spectrum is low, they may not be open about their diagnosis.




Moss is now practicing law. Her focus is on health care and international matters, along with advocacy for people on the spectrum. She has no plans to stop writing and creating art.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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