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He couldn’t speak as a child. Now this autistic student is giving a commencement address

May 19, 2019 by

When Bruno Youn was 3 years old, his mother noticed something was off about her firstborn son. He could parrot what he heard. He could remember and recite poetry. But he could not string together words to communicate his own thoughts.

She brought him in for testing and learned the truth: He had autism.

“I could not cope with the idea,” said Josette Thompson, a Seal Beach physician. “I couldn’t have a child with autism. Never talk. Never have a job. Never get married. You lose all those dreams for your child at once. I couldn’t go there.”

She needn’t have worried.

On Saturday, Youn, now 22 years old, will walk across the stage to receive his diploma at Claremont McKenna College. But before he does, he will stand before an audience of hundreds and do what his senior class elected him to do: deliver the student commencement remarks.

In four years at the small, highly selective liberal arts college in the Pomona Valley, Youn has grown from a freshman who avoided people, spending most of his time holed up in his dorm playing video games, into a campus leader.

Source: He couldn’t speak as a child. Now this autistic student is giving a commencement address – Los Angeles Times

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