Meet Shay Hibbeler Hope For Three’s July Autism All-Star. Shay is a beautiful, intelligent, witty, passionate, and exceptionally talented young woman with a resilient spirit.
Shay was diagnosed with severe anxiety and OCD at the very young age of 3 years old. By the age of 12 her diagnoses were Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. At age 16, doctors diagnosed her with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Shay’s biggest challenge is her lack of socialization. Due to constant bullying throughout her first 14 years Shay has been home schooled since the summer of 8th grade. Now a senior in high school, Shay and her mom are learning to navigate the unfamiliar waters of the world of autism as well as manage her multiple diagnoses. Despite having to overcome many personal traumatic experiences Shay consistently demonstrates a strong desire and willingness to help others. She has an innate ability to recognize when someone is being excluded, treated unfairly, not feeling well, or if someone has had their feelings hurt. She immediately makes it her mission to help, support, include, and encourage the person in need.
In addition to having a heart of gold Shay also possesses amazing artistic abilities that include drawing anime and fictional writing. She is currently completing a trilogy that she has been developing over the last 5 years. She has created and developed each of the characters for her book and has illustrated each with precise detail. To protect her work, she obtained copyright protection for the Original Works of Authorship for her characters at age 15. When interviewed, Shay explained that she hopes that her book will inspire others to build more friendships while being their true selves. She anticipates completing her trilogy by the end of the year and her long-term goal is to convert her trilogy into an anime series where she is “solely responsible” for the casting of the voice over actors portraying her characters. Shay is very protective of her book and drawings as the characters are a depiction of her evolving into her true self. She translates her true feelings into her art. Shay’s mother, Shawnda Hibbeler said, “Shay has an indescribable way of capturing and filtering her intense and oftentimes fearful anxiety, fears, and emotions through her writing. She takes all the negative and is truly able to make it “magical.” Her writings express how she connects and relates to the world and how she truly wishes the world could be – “magical.” That within itself is magical!”
Shay is a true testament of how an individual can thrive even when obstacles are set before them. She relentlessly chooses to rise above any situation and always remains humble and kindhearted no matter the judgment, rejection or exclusion she’s endured. This is what makes Shay an Autism All-Star.