An alternative autistic graduation narrative

Here’s an alternative to the narrative we keep hearing about.

My son was not the valedictorian of Drexel University.

He did not stand at a podium and output a speech.

He did not win a single prize.

He did not graduate with honors.

It took him 7 years to graduate.

He got zero media coverage.

He does not have a $90,000 grant from the Soros Foundation to get an advanced degree at a prestigious school, and his next steps remain unclear.


This child of mine, who has been consistently diagnosed as moderately autistic (not mild), and who the experts, assessing him at age 4, told us that, despite “glimmers” of intelligence, was best suited to life skills classes, managed to graduate college with a double degree in math and computer science.

And no one held up a keyboard, touched his body, or otherwise hovered next to him within cueing range while he did his work.

7 thoughts on “An alternative autistic graduation narrative

  1. It is ok to need ADA accommodations. Shaming people with disabilities who need accommodations for equity kind of ruined the narrative for me there at the end. Until then I was completely with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one is shaming anyone here.

      AAC devices are appropriate accommodations.

      Cueing messages is not an appropriate accommodation. FC/RPM/S2C is not an appropriate accommodation.

      And it is demeaning of intellectually disabled people when FC proponents carry on about how upset they were with low IQ scores and how relieved they were when FC supposedly unleashed genius-level IQ scores.

      Demeaning *and* fraudulent.


  2. Hearty congratulations, J! Majoring in math or computer science by itself is difficult for neurotypical people, double-majoring even more so. Double-majoring in math and CS while moderately autistic is an amazing achievement!


    1. Thank you, GoogleMaster! It has been quite an adventure.
      I should add that two accommodations were extremely helpful:
      1. A written transcript of the humanities classes he had to take
      2. The option to take some of those classes on line. (Here, the pandemic helped a lot!)


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