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Pleased with autism spectrum disorder article | Letter
I am a recent graduate from Redmond High School and I was extremely pleased when reading about Sara Gardner’s program at Bellevue College for those with autism spectrum disorder (Redmond Reporter, April 18). During my time at Redmond High School, I was lucky enough to be very involved in the peer mentoring program and meet individuals with varying disabilities all over the spectrum.
These kids were some of the smartest, most hard-working individuals I have ever come into contact with. Although some of them struggled with aspects of the high school experience, with support from the program and help from classes specifically focused on addressing their needs most of the students were able to find their niche and flourish at school.
Graduating from high school and moving on to create an independent adult life is difficult for everyone, regardless of their degree of ability or disability. I believe that programs such as Autism Spectrum Navigators at Bellevue College and the Transition Academy operating out of the Lake Washington School District are important stepping stones for all individuals who are ready to leave high school, but are not ready to completely sever themselves from the same support that has allowed them to be so successful in the past.
These individuals are important members of our community and have so much talent and passion to share with us all. It is so important to have programs such as the Autism Spectrum Navigators available and I am very proud to live in a community that has so many resources offered for those who need them.