Hayley Moss didn't talk until she was four years old. Diagnosed with Autism at three, Moss's parents never let that lower expectations for their special daughter. They encouraged Hayley in every way and she is the first one to tell you she had a happy childhood. Being on the Autism Spectrum was never something that held her back. The encouragement of her family gave her the confidence to excel and succeed in everything she did. "I was the cool kid", she says, because she concentrated on her strengths and not her weaknesses. She credits the confidence her parents instilled in her for the triumphs that led her to be an author, an artist, and now one of the first licensed attorneys in Florida on the Autism Spectrum.
Hired at First Sight
Hayley is blessed with a photographic memory and, as many people on the ASD, she is adept at tasks that require intense attention to detail. It's one of the reasons she was hired by a major law firm in Miami. Joe Zumpano, owner of the firm, said he instantly recognized her as " . . . a brilliant person with a brilliant mind." Moss works on health-care and anti-terrorism cases, where her ability to absorb massive quantities of data and recognize patterns gives her firm an advantage.
The practicalities of daily living are the things that she finds problematic; things like driving in the city, new routines and the challenges of daily living are affected by her autism, and she has to learn to cope and adapt.
Hayley has been working as an advocate for others with autism since her teen years. She has published multiple books for students on the spectrum and has spoken at many conferences and events to raise awareness and understanding of Autism. Her advice to parents and others on how to help those with autism is this: Listen, be understanding, and "do not discount what we can do."
Hayley realizes that not everyone with Autism is as high-functioning as she is. She doesn't diminish the struggles of having sensory issues. Those who live with ASD could not have a better superhero than this lawyer who knows what they are experiencing.
Working with the those with autism and other neurological disorders is rewarding and in high demand. Please contact us if you are interested in a career in any aspect of the Behavioral Health field.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health section of our blog.
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