Indian-American Hari Srinivasan and Friend Make History as UC Berkeley’s First Non-Speaking Graduates with Autism

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An Indian-American is among two UC Berkeley students who made history as UC Berkeley’s first non-speaking graduates with autism. Hari Srinivasan, a minimally speaking autistic, and her friend David Teplitz not only succeeded in conquering the impossible, they paved the way for other students with similar disabilities in the California State University system. Both Srinivasan and Teptliz were diagnosed with apraxia, a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to perform learned (familiar) movements on command.

Despite his challenges, Srinivasan graduated with a 4.0 GPA with a major in psychology and a minor in disability studies, while Teplitz had a GPA of 38.5 and earned a minor in disability studies and a political science degree, as reported by ABC 7. Srinivasan has a fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she will pursue her PhD in neuroscience this fall. According to his website, he is also a college medal finalist (in the top 5 in his graduating class of 11,000 students), as well as a Departmental Citation Award for being the best student in psychology.

Srinivasan also has the privilege of being the first-time visiting professor at Vanderbilt University’s Frist Center for Autism and Innovation from July 2021 to June 2022.

Srinivasan was the lead instructor of a semester-long class on autism at Berkeley and is the first non-speaking chair of the student organization Spectrum at Cal. also wrote for Daily California He has worked as a research assistant at the University Psychology Laboratories and the UC Berkeley Disability Laboratory.

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“The chance to be a contributing member of education and society was like a candy store that I longed for from the outside,” Srinivasan writes on her website. “Access to higher education for individuals like me is hard-won and I have absolutely enjoyed and enjoyed my undergraduate years at UC Berkeley and all the opportunities it has to offer.”

But that’s not all. The young Indian-American was selected to serve on the National Institutes of Health’s Interagency Coordinating Committee on Autism and several other leadership roles. He was Vice Chairman of the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, a member of the Autistic Counselors Council at the Autism Association of America, and a member of the Autistic Researchers Committee at the International Association for Autism Research. He was also the creative consultant for “Helping Hands,” an Australian play on what it means to help with autism.

In his spare time, besides learning tennis, he enjoys listening to music and watching professional sports. She enjoys creative writing, with some of her poetry and other work that has won awards, including the National Award at Carnegie Hall. He took part in President Obama’s program. Instagram Campaigning on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.