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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!

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.