USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Vicky Westra Founder of Artistas Café and Art for Autism

Second Advisor

Stephanie Weber, Ph.D., Professor, College of Education


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2013

Publication Date


Date Issued

May 2013


Individuals with Autism have tremendous challenges set out for them. Throughout their lives these individuals are told that they cannot succeed. They cannot achieve. Growing up with this mentality, these individuals enter adulthood without an outlet to give back to society. They are unable to find employment due to trepidations and misunderstandings of this disability brought on by a misleading and dangerous medical diagnosis. Unfortunately, this leads to them fading away within the crowd. They become a forgotten statistic amongst their generation. It is time for this ongoing trend to change. In this paper, the challenges and underlying factors of Autism brought on by the outlook of society are thoroughly examined. Moreover, the consequences of the resulting implications for society are similarly brought to light. This paper shows that the untapped capabilities and skills of these individuals are absolutely tremendous if and only if they are given a proper chance within society. Several organizations have begun to take charge and lead the way towards helping these individuals make a difference. It is now time for the rest of society to follow suit.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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