Dear amazing son,
You have just been officially discharged from Special Education. Congratulations, Robert. I’m proud of you. Especially in light of the following:
Over the course of your 16 years, I’ve been told the following by physicians, educators and “experts”:
1. “He is mentally retarded” — HA! We never bought into that, did we? Not even when “MR” was written in sharpie on the outside of your file at school. You are in pre-AP classes and were admitted to the gifted program.
2. “He may never talk” –News flash: Once you finally decided to talk, you never shut up. *wink* You are one of the most articulate people I know.
3. “He will most likely not be able to handle a mainstream classroom setting.” –Kind of like #’s 1 and 2 above-WRONG.
4. “You should consider taking out a trust fund as he will most likely not be able to live on his own and will need living assistance his entire life.”–Um, no. Not buying into it. Go to college and then get a job, son.
Just keep in mind, Robert: This list could go on for hundreds of entries. Never buy into the negative. Never live down to other people’s grim expectations and generalizations about autism or ANYTHING for that matter. Keep on proving them wrong and yourself right. You’ve got this. Again, congratulations.