Armani Williams is one of the few Black drivers in the industry and the first driver in NASCAR to openly address his autism, the 22-year-old is breaking stereotypes and promoting inclusivity.
"I wanted to show everyone that autism can be a strength, not a handicap,".
A range of neurodevelopmental disorders known as autism spectrum disorder affect social, learning, and communication abilities. Armani Williams was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, and for the first few years of his life, he was nonverbal, like other children with the condition.
Del Williams, Armani's father, said, "He could say 'Mom' and 'Dad', but he didn't say much else."
His parents were worried about his future because they didn't know anything about autism.
In addition to watching the NASCAR racing series on television, Armani Williams started collecting matchbox cars.
Armani remarked, "I'd never witnessed speed quite like this. It shocked me how fast those automobiles were traveling.
"I realized I wanted to do this once it became clear to me that I should." Stated by Armani Williams
Both sensory hyper- and hyposensitivity can occur in autistic individuals. Armani's heightened sensitivity to touch and sound has been useful in racing.
Every driver needs focus, but Armani said, "I have a laser-like focus because I have autism; you practically have to be the automobile."