Huntingdon 20-year-old overcomes obstacles, publishes two books

Local News

HUNTINGDON, Pa. (WTAJ) — Who doesn’t love a story of beating the odds?

Well, imagine being told at a young age that you’ve reached your peak. Or being told you won’t be able to have a productive or fulfilling life.

That was the case for Johnny Williams, who has autism.

Williams is a 20-year-old from Huntingdon. Growing up he wasn’t given much of a chance to succeed in school, hold a job or even talk.

“I was told he would never be a productive member of society,” Michele Shawley, William’s mom, said.

However, you know what Johnny said to all of that?

No way.

He has defied all the odds to this point in his young life. He has graduated high school, is currently working a full time job and has also published and illustrated two books. 

“It’s not disabled, it’s challenged,” Williams explained. “If you say disabled, that means you can’t do it, but if you say challenged, that means you can do it.”

The sky is the limit for Williams.

“It’s indescribable to be honest,” his mom told us. “He has even gone further than even I anticipated him to do.”

The first words you read when you open up William’s book, “Johnny and Cuyler 2,” are, “This book is dedicated to my friends everywhere! As the journey continues!”

For Williams, that journey gets brighter with each passing day.

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