According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of children diagnosed with autism in the United States is on the rise. In 2014, it was found that an estimated 1 in 59 children had autism. In 2012, 1 in 68 children, and in 2008, the number was 1 in 88. The findings were based on data from over 300,000 8-year-old children in 11 communities across the US.
Unlike other disorders of the brain, autism falls on a spectrum. Some people can be high-functioning autistic, and go on to live successful lives. Others, unfortunately, will need help for the rest of their lives. This autistic woman was told by doctors that she would never be self-sufficient, but she proved everyone wrong.
“Different isn’t bad. It’s just different. And different can be extraordinary.” Those words can be seen on her website, and she continuously proves them to be true.
Despite the doctor's warnings that Haley would never live a "normal" life, her parents were loving and encouraged her to "embrace" her diagnosis. Fortunately, Haley refused to let them keep her down.
She explains that she has an issue doing "the things people refer to as adulting." But don't you think for a second that she's allowed that to prevent her from reaching for the stars.
Starting from when she was a child, Haley always strived to be the best that she could be. In fact, Haley began to develop big dreams for herself that she would one day achieve.
In January of 2019, she was proudly accepted into the Florida Bar, making her the first openly autistic person to achieve such an accomplishment. “I’m very passionate about things I enjoy and I love to write. That’s also part of why I went to law school, and I love to be able to help others,” she explained in an interview with Sun Sentinel.
The founders of the firm, Joe Zumpano and Leon Patricios, even showed up at her graduation ceremony. You see, Zumpano has a very special connection to Haley because his 16-year-old son is also autistic!
So not only is she doing great things for herself, she's also doing great things for the entire autistic community. But how is she getting it all done?
“It’s about dreams and following dreams and having no limits...No two brains are the same. Just because my brain works more like a Mac than a PC doesn’t mean I’m any less human," she explains.
Way to go Haley! Everyone at Lifebuzz is proud of you for all of the things that you've achieved!