Sunday, June 27, 2010

High School Commencements and Aspergers Syndrome

A Facebook friend (and person I went to high school and college with, but haven't seen since) posted this link to my high school's 2010 commencement address

Funny, isn't it?  So what the heck does this has to do with autism?

It is because I met the family of this years valedictorian at our local high school many years ago.  There are three children, all of whom are graduating this year.  There is the youngest son, a genius and musical talent (graduating early), the middle son who is in the middle of all this (and graduating "on time), and the daughter, the oldest, who has Aspergers Syndrome and is graduating "older".  Just like my son's friend.

This is a good family and good people.

Siblings can have a rough time of it and the "youngest son", who is the valedictorian, found this out years ago.  He will have his challenges and a sense of humor, like Gene Weingarten's, will serve him well.

I hope he makes a good speech, not a typical "generic" speech.   He certainly doesn't have to be funny. Gene Weingarten didn't win the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for being funny.  He won it for a very scary and sobering article.
I know this young man is going to have a very different take on this world, just like Gene does.  I hope one day I can find a transcript of his commencement speech.

 I hope that he, and his neurotypical sibling. fare well as they go out into this world. Just like I hope my son's friend (who I've blogged about recently) who will be in the same graduation today, will succeed in his going out into the wider world.

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