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Autism Speaks

Calls to Action

My Journey through 11th grade and Beyond


This blog is by Giana Hitsos  a singer, speaker, actor, and advocate bringing awareness and ahanging the perception of people with autism.

Hey, it’s me, Gianna.  For those that don’t know me, I am 17 years old and I have autism.  When I was diagnosed at 2 years old, the doctors told my parents that I may never regain language or do things that most kids can do.  Through lots of early intervention, therapy, and hard work, I have overcome many of the language obstacles of my disability.  I am writing this blog because I am starting 11th grade and the next two years are going to be filled with lots of challenges, and scary and exciting events that I will be experiencing, like taking SATs, looking for colleges, getting the best grades, and maybe making a friend.  I know that as a kid with autism, I am fortunate to have been able to make it this far, and since my motto is that “autistic people can do great things if they are given a chance and included”, I am going to pursue my dream of being accepted to college and becoming the first autistic singer on Broadway or the Metropolitan Opera.

This was my first week at school.  I attend a high school in Massachusetts and I am mainstreamed in all my classes.  On the first day, it felt a little scary because since I have some new teachers, they have to learn about me and figure how I learn all over again. Plus, since I have all new classes, I had to get into the routine again of finding where I am suppose to go and doing homework.  It was sad that summer is over, but since I don’t get to see many classmates outside of school, I was kind of glad to return. A lot of people were nice to me in the hallways like last year, but some people haven’t changed and ignored me when I said “Hi”.  I’ve gotten used to that, but I still hope that someday I will get a "Hi" back.  I already have a test in Geometry and I am starting to get really overwhelmed by the amount of homework, and the school is already talking about the PSATs in October.  The one thing that makes me happy is when I sing.  For those that don’t know it, I take voice at the Boston Conservatory in a program for musically talented autistic students.   In my high school, I have chorus again this year so at least there is a place during the day where I am accepted as a singer who just “happens to have autism”, and I know I can really shine.  So join me on my blog as I take on this exciting journey.  More next week!