What has two thumbs and has only one more day of high school?
My son Thom is a lesson in faith and perseverance.
He was just two when my chubby, boisterous, yet speechless little cherub was diagnosed with autism.
I was told it was severe.
He would probably never speak, or even be potty trained.
He wasn't going to develop much past where he was that day.
As I always tell parents of special needs kids,
don't listen to a damned thing they tell you about prognosis.
After 3 years at a special school, Thom started at an elementary school with a great autism program. I was encouraged to use a laminated book with velcro backed pictures at home so he could communicate.
I flatly refused. He started talking by 7.
In middle school, he was in regular classes with accommodations and an aid. He was a solid C student.
He started high school completely mainstreamed. I was offered the special needs diploma option.
We didn't take it.
He's completed driver's ed, designs video games, and his buddies are picking him up from school tomorrow to celebrate at the mall.
You know, like teenagers.
He's now on the honor roll and headed for college with his siblings in the Fall on a full ride, books included.
Oh, and he talks, he just sounds a little like Elmer Fudd.
He amazes me every day, because he never gives up on any challenge, or on himself.
That boat took some time to build, but it's sailing beautifully now.
And I could not be prouder.