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 Joshua McKerrow — The Capital Taylor Morris, a 17 year-old senior at Annapolis High School, discusses her autism advocacy work. Taylor was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum at age two, and used special education services through third grade. Today, she’s applying to colleges and spreading a message of hope.

By THERESA WINSLOW, Staff Writer

Published 10/21/10

When Taylor Morris was a toddler, her future didn’t look particularly full of hope.

At 2, she was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, which includes a range of conditions, and her mother, Robin Rice, was told her daughter might never talk, or leave home.

Fifteen years later, Taylor is the one dispensing hope to other autistic children and their families. Through her online videos and advocacy, the 17-year-old Annapolis High School senior is describing the ways the diagnosis has shaped her experiences, and how she copes with everyday life.

“The big thing is when you associate with her, you get the feeling that you’re part of a very special story that has been written and is still being written,” said Philip Greenfield, one of her teachers.

Taylor, who is in the International Baccalaureate program, National Honor Society and runs track, wants to be a chemist and is in the process of deciding where to apply to college. She’s also continuing a video blog and website she began last winter about her life, as well as work that includes public speaking and involvement in two autism-awareness fashion shows.

Recently, Taylor was selected as a collegiate spokesperson for the Autism Women’s Network, which entails posting more video blogs about everything from the application process to her time on campus once she begins school.

“I’m so impressed by her,” said Sharon daVanport, executive director of the New York-based support organization. “She’s able to coordinate so much, and she’s just 17.”

Read in Full:  http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/lif/2010/10/21-67/Teen-uses-experience-to-become-autism-advocate.html



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