Woman Becomes Florida’s First Known Autistic Attorney: ‘Different Can Be Extraordinary’

February 21, 2019 Updated: February 21, 2019

Haley Moss, from South Florida, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at the age of just 3, after her parents noticed that she was non-verbal but could easily complete 100-piece jigsaw puzzles. Clearly, they had an extraordinary child on their hands. Doctors warned parents Rick and Sherry, however, that their daughter may never graduate, or even learn how to drive a car.

✨Gratitude ✨That’s what I feel right now about every single one of you who commented, posted, or shared my…

Haley Moss 发布于 2019年2月11日周一

But Haley had other ideas. Now 24, the young woman has embraced her diagnosis in the most impressive way. She is now a published author, artist, and perhaps most commendable of all, a practicing attorney.

Speaking to Daily Business Review, Haley was quick to admit that not everything comes easy in adult life: “The things people refer to as ‘adulting,’” she said, such as laundry, and other menial household tasks, are not easily grasped. But her academic prowess more than makes up for it.

#flashbackfriday to a beautiful time when I got to paint at home ALL THE TIME before I was a college student living in a dorm and thinking there aren't enough hours in a day.

Haley Moss 发布于 2014年1月17日周五

Haley’s childhood changed after her diagnosis. At the age of 4, Haley shifted from special education to mainstream classrooms and developed a determination to rival her peers. She was always outgoing: “I’ve always enjoyed getting to connect and share,” Haley told CBS News. She even wrote a book about her early adolescent experiences, aged 15, titled “Middle School — The Stuff Nobody Tells You About: A Teenage Girl with ASD Shares Her Experiences.”

Author Showcase 2014!! #parklandlibrary #hometown #books #author #famous #autism #instagood #igers

Haley Moss 发布于 2014年11月15日周六

Writing was to become an important outlet for Haley. In the past decade, she has written a second book and also contributed to a collection of essays. “I’ve always been raised to give back and help others in need and help the community,” she said.

Haley’s reverence for community was likely what compelled her to pursue a career in law. “I wanted to go to law school because I wanted to make a difference for other people,” she confirmed. “What better way [to make a difference] than to become a lawyer.”

So honored to have been presented with UM-NSU CARD‘s Outstanding Self-Advocate Award today ✨ UM-NSU CARD provided…

Haley Moss 发布于 2018年10月4日周四

She continued to explain that her personal story has had a huge impact on her ability to share, and her appreciation for how important it is to do so: “It takes a village to raise a child,” Haley referenced, wisely, “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.”

Haley graduated from University of Miami School of Law in May of 2018, majoring in health care and international matters. She delivered an inspiring commencement speech to hundreds. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in January of 2019, with ease, and will no doubt be an asset to the profession. Haley’s employer firmly believes that Haley is the first openly autistic person to practice in the state, and Haley has their full support in doing so.

One of the best days of my life. Such a surreal feeling to be a Miami Law grad. I am completely overwhelmed by all the…

Haley Moss 发布于 2018年5月16日周三

The young attorney wants to be heard, and she wants to make a difference. “Whether it’s somebody on the spectrum that says ‘Thank you for sharing your story,’ or it’s a parent of a newly-diagnosed child that tells me, ‘Wow, you gave me so much hope for my kid. I can’t wait to see what my kid’s going to be able to do when they get older.’ Yes, it’s definitely an impact,” Haley explained.

These days, Haley is also a motivational speaker. “Different isn’t bad. It’s just different. And different can be extraordinary,” her website exclaims. Haley, we couldn’t agree more.

Woman with autism becomes first "openly-autistic" lawyer in Florida, employer says

This woman with autism was once non-verbal – now she's a practicing lawyer, who spoke at her law school graduation! 👏 https://on.wtsp.com/2N9zO4g

10News WTSP 发布于 2019年2月19日周二

Show your support for anybody who has ever been held back by circumstances by sharing Haley’s uplifting story!