Video: Thriving with autism

Meet Tyler: University graduate and fearless advocate


Tyler's fearless journey is a ray of hope in a world that often forgets to celebrate our differences. It's a real-life reminder that kindness, inclusivity, and understanding can truly change lives.

After Tyler's autism diagnosis at age two, his parents felt a wide range of emotions: from witnessing him struggle with speech loss to experiencing his incredible growth as a graduate from the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The SUCCEED Program has been a transformative force in Tyler's life. It's more than just a support system for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities; it's a beacon of hope, a catalyst for growth and opportunity. With his infectious positivity, Tyler has made friends and opened the door to a world of exciting possibilities.

Tyler wearing a blue shirt and glasses with a big open-mouth smile

Undoubtedly, Tyler's journey has had its share of challenges—communication barriers and feelings of isolation, to name a few. But he's faced each hurdle with determination and emerged stronger on the other side. And it's not all struggles. Tyler has many strengths, too—like his exceptional memory and organizational skills.

With his loving family and programs like SUCCEED by his side, Tyler's college was a huge success. He was able to live independently in a dorm and juggle classes, work, and even social events.

Today, Tyler is a testament to the power of determination and support. He works as a guest services attendant at the UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center, maintains his membership in Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, and actively participates in community programming. His future aspirations include securing expanded employment in sports management/recreation services that align with his interests, skills, and admirable personality.

Surrounded by a loving and supportive community that recognizes his potential, Tyler is living his best life. Whether it's his parents, friends, or his high school basketball coach, they're all cheering him on, every step of the way. Their love, support, and empathy have been instrumental in his success.

Tyler is also one of our Champions of Change

So, let Tyler's fearless journey remind us that we can all overcome life's challenges with love, support, and empathy.

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