Eric Duquette lives in Rhode Island. He was non-verbal at age 5 as he entered Kindergarten, newly diagnosed with autism. The news is that he just graduated from High School as the Salutatorian of his class. His GPA ranked second among his 200 classmates. The advocacy includes:
- his parents, who worked with speech professionals and on their own to help him gain vocabulary and make progress learning emotions, etc
- his classmates - it is obvious they are thrilled with his achievements
- his teachers - from Kindergarten through High School I'm sure they went above and beyond to bring out the potential in this young man
- and himself - the humor and even wisdom Eric expresses in his speech is heart-warming to say the least.
Meanwhile, I am encouraged as I consider the long road in front of our family. Our daughter will begin 1st grade this year. She has already made so much progress that I am often amazed. It has not been easy, nor do I expect it to be easy in the future, but I will hold on to the hope held out in the example of Eric. I hope others will also be encouraged to overcome their own limitations and maximize their abilities; and to advocate, support and encourage others so that they can do the same.