Meet Elizabeth

Driven by a passion for local advocacy in her native Connecticut, this mother on the spectrum tirelessly advocates for solutions that benefit her son and our entire community


I feel like I have a responsibility to help people with autism and their families to try to make the world a better place.”
A mom and a son smile at the camera in blue autism shirts on a sunny day

Few would equate the thrill of Christmas morning with running around Capitol Hill in D.C., but autism advocate Elizabeth Bauch does. 

After attending The Autism Speaks Advocacy Forum & Hill Day for the first time, Elizabeth enthusiastically confided in her father. She likened the three days spent engaging with federal policymakers and advocating for policies that enhance the lives of individuals with autism to a feeling even more exhilarating than Christmas. 

“I was in Washington D.C., meeting with congressmen, discussing policy issues. You don't get much better than that,” Elizabeth recalls telling her dad as soon as she got home. 

Elizabeth was diagnosed with ASD as an adult but had special education services since third grade. 

She is a mom of two kids, an 11-year-old boy, Joseph, who also has ASD, and a daughter. 

Joseph's journey is the driving force behind Elizabeth's unwavering belief in the power of local community engagement and the significant impact it can have on the autism community. 

“I wanted to do something that would allow me to cope with his diagnosis. So that's why I got involved with advocacy. I feel like if I can't do something for Joseph and a lot of the things that I'm doing are not making an improvement in his life, it's making a difference in autism as a whole and for the community in which I live,” she says. 

Elizabeth brings Joseph along to many autism awareness events, including the Town Council to receive the World Autism Awareness Day proclamation. Over the years, Elizabeth organized support groups, hosted her congressmen at her son’s school for World Autism Month, and served as an ambassador. 

She also used Autism Speaks' Kindness Campaign to engage at her son’s school for World Autism Month and donates autism-related books to the school library yearly. 

Elizabeth’s commitment to this work is palpable. Every January, she thinks about what to do differently to convey her message. 

“Each year I like to do something a little different. I don't want the kids to say Mrs. Bosch is coming, and she's going to read to us. It must be something more than that.”  

Last year, Congressman Joe Courtney came to Joseph’s school. This April, State Senator Jeff Gordon will be attending Joseph's school as Elizabeth's guest to speak to fifth graders about the concept of advocacy.

Joseph will naturally be involved with welcoming the Senator and kicking off the assembly. 

Elizabeth also has binders full of “any kind of autism resource you can imagine” she says.  

One of her passions is whenever she meets a family with a child with autism or another disability, she tries to help them in any way she can. She puts her innate appeal to find stuff to work . 

“I'm really good at finding those things and making those connections, so if someone doesn't do that really well, I'm happy to use my skills to do that for them.” 

We recently connected with Elizabeth to discuss her advocacy efforts and get her insights on how anyone can become an advocate and ally:  

A. women reads a book in front of a green chalkboard to a class

Joseph attends a lot of events with you like the state proclamation days, why is that?  

I want him to be included because he's the reason why I do it. I want people to see him, to see what autism is, that this is a real child with this disability. I want people to see that he is as handsome and as wonderful as a ‘regular’ kid, and that he can do these things. And he is a part of our community too. I want Joseph to be out in front of it so that people can see him and understand it through him, what autism really is.  

Why is local advocacy so important to you?  

It's about getting out there in the community and being seen. For example, going to your state capital on autism day takes no time and no money, Autism Speaks usually has a table and a representative that goes to the state capital awareness days with you. But it is important to be seen.  

Right people in blue shirts stand in front of the American flag

What if someone wants to be an advocate with their local officials, what are your top tips for someone starting out as an autism advocate superstar?  

First you need to research the official you are reaching out to, find out what committees they are on, how do they feel about disability rights? Then you need to find out who their staff is and start emailing them and calling them to get to that first meeting. That is how I started. It can be hard at times but be patient and persistent. Keep calling and emailing. Try to meet them at an event. It may take time for them to get back to you. They ae interested but are very busy. Always thank them for their time and their support.  

You also need to go to disability rights events. You've got to be seen. Joseph and I go to things like Miracle League of Northern Connecticut. Get yourself a binder to keep business cards and remember to go to events and be seen. 

We call these series Community Ally. What does being a Community Ally mean to you?  

It means a lot. On a deeper level, I feel like that I've been called by God. This is what he wants me to be doing. This is where I belong and what I'm supposed to be doing right now. It's like a calling. I have the ability and the skills to do this work. I feel like I have a responsibility to help people with autism and their families to try to make the world a better place. How I can make the world a better place for them is by trying to get legislation passed that will benefit the community.  

Is there a song that you play to hype yourself up before advocating or for motivation?  

"Wings" by Little Mix. I also listen to a lot of the songs from the Love Manchester concert, because they are all above love.  

View Elizabeth and Joseph’s YouTube channel.

To see how you can attend the next Hill Day and our advocacy efforts, check out Autism Votes social media pages for Hill Day converge this year.

The story shared above represents the experience, views and perspectives of the individual(s) highlighted. We aim to share stories across the spectrum and throughout the life span, but the information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals.