theParklander

UF senior Haley Moss is: Parkland's prolific book author
By Martin Lenkowsky / November 1, 2014

Parkland resident Haley Moss is a senior at the University of Florida, plus a whole lot more Moss, 20, is also the author of two books, the first one having been published when she was only 15 years old.

Her first was entitled, "Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About." It was not simply about the difficulties of a young teen experiencing the usual cruelties and problems being of middle school age. There was a lot more to it. Moss suffers from a "high-functioning type of autism." She was first diagnosed with this condition at age 3, she says.

"I know certain challenges are harder for me than others," she says, adding that her first book dealt with middle school kids with special needs who face a lot of difficulties in the educational environment. "I went to three middle schools in three years. I wanted to write a book that was friendly to both adults and children."

Her second book is called, "A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders." It too deals with the problems facing a student - this time of college age - with autism.
Book Moss

Moss says a major problem she faces deals with social cues. "If you're talking to me, and you roll your eyes, I would take it to mean you're bored," she explains. "One of my biggest problems is lacking social common sense. That's one of my biggest challenges."

She will graduate in May from UF with majors in both psychology and criminology.

Moss got the idea for her first book when she was only 13 years old and ask to speak as part of a panel discussion about autism. "I was the only girl," she says. A book publisher happened to be in the audience and approached her - hence her early writing career began.

Moss' talents are not limited to writing: She loves drawing and art, and did all the illustrations for her first book. Her second book does not contain any illustrations. "College kids don't need illustrations," she says.

Because of her activism on behalf of those with autism spectrum disorders, she has met - and befriended - celebrities like former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino. "He's a friend of mine. He presented me with an award in New York City," she says adding that, as a big Gator football fan, fall is an exciting time of year for her.

For those who aspire to write books, Moss advises that they choose topics that especially interest them: "Also, have a vision of the final product in mind. You need to see yourself buying that book at Barnes and Noble (or on Amazon). You have to have some sort of direction and be passionate about it."




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