Victoria Handy

An advocate for herself, her daughter and the future

Victoria Handy's Autism Speaks Champion of Change headshot

At 17, after years of being misunderstood and misdiagnosed, Victoria was diagnosed with autism, marking the beginning of a transformative chapter in her life. Armed with her diagnosis, Victoria found solace in support groups and online resources geared towards helping her navigate the complexities of social interactions and everyday challenges with autism. Citing the support of her devoted mother, and a reliance on her own strong intuition, Victoria has carved out a successful path in life – and has plans to achieve much more.

Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a passion for advocacy, she pursued higher education, earning both a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in behavior analysis. Today, the Mississippi native serves as a dedicated behavior technician, working tirelessly to support autistic children and their families. Her firsthand experience as a caregiver and a person on the spectrum underpins her work with a unique perspective and empathy.

Victoria is a powerful voice, advocating for greater inclusivity, diversity and understanding. She not only advocates for herself, but also her 9-year-old daughter, Raine, who is also on the spectrum and has more significant support needs due to her diagnosis. With courage and determination, she is breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes, proving that being different is not a limitation but a source of strength.

As an Autism Speaks Champion of Change, Victoria seeks to shine a spotlight on underrepresented communities, particularly the Black community, and to advocate for improved legislation and support systems for individuals with autism. Despite the challenges she has faced, Victoria remains firm in her belief that everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and accepted for who they are.