Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fleeting glimpse

Several months ago I posted about a high school senior named Rob who was planning to attend the college where I work. I'd just helped him select the classes he'd be taking in the fall, and I'd picked up on cues that indicated that he was probably on (or near) the autism spectrum. Our brief encounter made me eager to work with him again when he arrived in the fall, and left me feeling buoyantly hopeful about what the future might hold for Bud.

I just found out that Rob will not be attending college here after all.

It's unclear to me whether the decision was Rob's (because he's decided to attend college somewhere else) or the college's (because his grades from his final semester of high school were not strong enough), but I fear it was the latter.

I barely know this young man. I spent a brief 30 minutes with him.

But I'm absolutely crushed.


Kristina Chew said...

I am too. But you never know who might in your classroom one day....

gretchen said...

I was just thinking about him the other day, and remembering how happy I had been to read about him... I'm disappointed that we won't be able to spy on Rob through you :-)

Tara said...

I am encouraged that there are people like you who recognize that a young man like Rob might benefit from some extra attention and help.
I hope he realizes his dream to attend college someday.

Alexander's Daddy said...


You originally wrote: " I imagine that Rob has faced a lot of obstacles as he has made his way to this place, where he is a high school senior full of promise, ready to take on college life.

I hope he doesn't spend too much of his energy dwelling on his struggle and is instead able to focus on his success.

I hope he knows that yesterday he made someone think, "I hope my son grows up to be just like you."

Could Rob's personal history serve as a compensatory factor with the admissions department?

MOM-NOS said...

Alexander's Daddy, I'm afraid it was already taken into account at an earlier point in the admissions process. The fact that Rob was registering for four instead of five classes was an indication that he was one of a handful of students who had a "conditional" acceptance, which means basically "you don't fully meet the admissions criteria, but we recognize your promise." Those students are given specific conditions upon which their acceptance hinges - usually having to do with the successful completion of a particular course of study in their last semester of high school. My hunch is that Rob knew what he needed to do to be here in the fall, but for whatever reason he was not able to do it.

Wade Rankin said...

Not getting into that first choice is not uncommon for any kid -- NT and those on the spectrum. I know from personal experience that it can hurt greatly at the time, but young men like Rob manage to find the right path wherever they go. I have no doubt that he will accomplish wonderful things in his life, and he will remember those who encouraged him along the way.

Frog's mom said...

How nice it is to know in a world where people are quickly judged and dismissed without an understanding of who they are or where they come from, there are people on the lookout for signs of extrodinary lives and accomplishments hard come by.

I wish Rob the best in his future endevors and hope that he continues to encounter others like you who appreciate and root for him whether he knows it or not.