Beyond labels: Exploring diverse paths in autism (includes documentary)

To listen to the accompanying audio stories, click here. To watch the accompanying photo essay, click here.

Every day, millions of people worldwide navigate the ordinary routines of life, from choosing clothes and meals to deciding how to spend their time or embracing the journey of life itself. Unfortunately, these tasks and choices are beyond the ability of some individuals.

In this documentary, we take a closer look at the lives of two individuals: one grappling with severe autism and the other with a milder form. We explore how various initiatives are raising awareness about this disorder. We explore different methods and how these options are aiding autistic individuals in seeking and finding better life opportunities.

By listening to the stories of Valeria, Valentino, Alexian and Damian, we witness both the minor triumphs and major achievements of these families, painting a promising picture for the future of individuals living with this condition.

Experts and other professionals provide us with different methods of support, substitution and educational programs offered to children on the autism spectrum.

In the end, autism perspectives leave us with a profound reflection on the importance of understanding, support and inclusion. It invites us to continue this journey of awareness and hope, building a world where every individual, regardless of their neurodevelopment disorder can thrive.

Dennisse Diaz is a senior majoring in Digital Broadcasting Media and minoring in entrepreneurship. She is originally from Venezuela. Since her arrival to the United States in 2017, she has never stopped pursuing her dreams of becoming a news anchor, correspondent, or investigative reporter. She is passionate about traveling, photography, culture, responsible knowledge, marketing, and content creation.

Hermann Diehl is a Cuban Guatemalan born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is majoring in digital media and communication at Florida International University. Hermann loves to bring stories to life with videography and photography and aspires to create a production company that shoots things such as
commercials through to movies and shows.

Samantha Gutierrez is a student journalist majoring in Digital Communication and Media. As a bilingual reporter, she enjoys covering stories about her diverse Miami community. With a strong passion for broadcasting, she aspires to pursue a career as a multimedia journalist in South Florida.

Marcelo is a transfer student from the University of Central Florida, majoring in Digital and Interactive Media. Born in Cuba, he plans to pursue a career in videography and video editing. His experience, openness, and bilingual skills make him a valuable asset to any news organization. In addition to his expertise in video editing, he is also interested in journalism and its related industries.