Sunday, July 11, 2010

Salutatorian with autism gives graduation speech

Thanks so much to Jean for sharing this, I LOVE it!! :)

This is the story of a high school student with autism who graduated as his school's salutatorian. It tells about some of the challenges he overcame growing up, and shows the speech he gave at graduation. Absolutely awesome :).

As Jean mentioned, it is especially touching to see the acceptance he has from his fellow students, who share in the joy of his achievements.

Because no matter what our children may accomplish, or where life's path may take them, isn't that something we all want for them? Acceptance.

I loved seeing how he talked about having to learn emotion ("a smile can go a long way," and he flashes a grin), that made me laugh and cry (happy tears) at the same time, it reminded me of Cuddlebug. He and Bearhug continue to work on their social skills, and at our last iep meeting his teacher commented that Cuddlebug doesn't quite get why he is supposed to do certain things in social situations, but he'll do them anyway. Bearhug is starting to "get it" more but being his stubborn self, he is more resistant to doing something just because he's "supposed" to if it doesn't make sense to him.

And my favorite quote is this one, "My parents were told... I would most likely end up in an institution... Today I stand before you accepted into every institution of higher learning that I applied to, so I guess, in a way, the experts were right about the institution thing."

Watch the whole thing, it's great (it'll make you watch a brief commercial first, but it's worth the wait).

Read the whole thing here. More here.

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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