“Autism is an important influence in my life.
The hardest part is not being able to talk.
God must have been out of voices when he made me.”
- Jeremy Sicile-Kira
“Inspiring….touching… articulate……sensitive…,” these are the words many use to describe Jeremy Sicile-Kira. He was diagnosed as severely autistic and his mother was told to find a good institution for him. Many years later, Jeremy passed the California High School Exit Exam on his first try, and graduated from high school in June 2010 with a full academic diploma and with a GPA of 3.75. He is now attending a good institution – it’s called “college.”
Jeremy is a writer, an artist and advocate for the autism community. His commencement speech has inspired many. He is probably the first non-verbal person with autism to have his own column in his high school newspaper, and to be a staff writer on his college newspaper. One of his articles on the impact of California budget cuts was printed out by disability lobbyists and handed to state legislators while they were preparing to vote on the budget.
Recently, Jeremy was appointed Autism Research Institute’s Youth Representative to the United Nation- another first! Jeremy also serves as the California Youth Leader for the Autistic Global Initiative, a project of the Autism Research Institute, and as a Youth Advisor to the California Employment Consortium for Youth (CECY).
Jeremy has experienced home schooling, special education, general education and many different types of therapies in California, France and the UK, and has clear opinions about what has been helpful – and what has not – to someone like him. Jeremy is currently a student at a community college and plans to earn a college degree in Communications.
Passionate about creating more understanding about people who are differently-abled, Jeremy writes articles, gives presentations and has co-authored his first book, A Full Life With Autism: From Learning to Relationships to Achieving Independence to be published by Macmillan in April 2012. He provides insight to parents and educators and inspires people facing challenges to be confident in their abilities, and to never give up. Jeremy’s articles have been published in The Autism File and the Autism-Asperger Digest.
Jeremy, was highlighted on MTV’s documentary series True Life, in the episode, “I Have Autism” which was the recipient of a 2007 Voice Award. Jeremy’s attempts to communicate using assistive technology in order to make friends was considered the second most inspirational moment out of nearly 300 True Life Episodes in 2009. (you can watch it here)
Jeremy’s story has been covered in national and media, including the Newsweek cover story “Growing up with Autism.” In 2006, Jeremy was honored with a Local Autism Hero Award from Cure Autism Now (CAN).