Autisc Teen Graduates as Valedictorian of His Public High School Class

  1. Autistic Teen in D.C. School Goes to the Head of the Class

    By Jay Mathews
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, June 10, 2001; Page C01

    Two years ago, Hazel Robinson had had enough. She thought the private school in Northern Virginia that her disabled son was attending was too easy for him. She transferred him to Cardozo Senior High School, a public school three blocks from her home in a low-income part of Northwest Washington.

    That was the first surprise for Cardozo Principal Reginald Ballard, who had never had parents say they preferred his special education services to those of a private school. Usually the parents of disabled D.C. students want their children removed from public programs and placed in private facilities, with the cost borne by the D.C. government.

    The second surprise will happen Tuesday morning on the stage of Cramton Auditorium at Howard University. Robinson's son, Lee Alderman, a shy 19-year-old with mild autism, will become the first special education student in the District -- and perhaps in the metropolitan area -- to graduate as valedictorian of his public high school class.

    Autistic Teen in D.C. School Goes to the Head of the Class

    [ June 14, 2001: Message edited by: Sharon ]
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