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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

A UF student with high-functioning autism wants to help incoming freshmen survive their first year of college.

Haley Moss, a 19-year-old UF psychology and criminology senior, published her second book on Monday. The book, “A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells you About!,” is about her experiences during her first year of college.

Moss was diagnosed with high-functioning autism when she was 3 years old. She published her first book, “Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About,” in 2010.

“When I was at the transition point between high school and college, there wasn’t a lot out there except for things written by parents,” Moss said. “When you are at that point, you want to hear about it from a student who’s been through it. If one person gets something out of this book, then I have done my job.”

She said her first year at UF was enjoyable but challenging. Routine tasks were difficult for her to understand at first.

“The first time I did laundry at UF, I put all my clothes and detergent in the dryer,” she said.

Moss wrote her book in about a month during the summer, but the publishing process, from start to finish, took a whole year.

Ann-Marie Orlando, coordinator for education and training programs at the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, said writing a book while maintaining a full-time college course load is an accomplishment for any student.

“I think everyone can be encouraged and empowered by her story. I think when community awareness, knowledge and acceptance is increased, it opens the door to opportunity,” Orlando said. 

Moss’ book is available for purchase on Amazon.com’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book reader, as well as printed paperback through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 7/29/2014 under the headline "UF student publishes her second book"]

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