After son’s diagnosis, alumna becomes leading advocate for families affected by autism

Lorri Unumb channels personal journey into focus and direction as a catalyst for change

Lorri and Dan Unumb’s son was diagnosed with autism before his second birthday. Two decades later, Lorri is an internationally known autism advocate.

Unumb, a two-time Carolina graduate (’90 journalism and political science, ’93 law)has written ground-breaking autism insurance legislation and co-founded, with her husband, a nonprofit center for families affected by autism in South Carolina. In 2019, she became CEO of the Council of Autism Service Providers, an association of organizations serving people with autism.

“I certainly didn’t foresee or project this career path, but I think the education I received and the way my classes and my professors challenged me to expand my thinking and to think about what should be – instead of what is – prepared me,” she says. “In law school, I remember getting this terrific sense of just because something is the law doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. You can change the system even though it might not be easy. You have a lot of power as a citizen, and with an idea and a positive approach to making a change, you can affect a lot of people’s lives.”

Read the full story, written by Carol J.G. Ward, on the university website.

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