We are thrilled that Joe was elected to the Wilton High School Homecoming Court…and we hope the High School students feel that same thrill to have him on the Court, as well as to have him as a classmate and a friend.
His Mom, Patti, shares:
Although Joe, at the time, didn’t realize exactly what that meant he was honored and graciously accepted and absolutely loved being part of it. Later he asked how do you get chosen. I said, ‘well, you need to be a very nice person, well-liked by your class, involved and take part in school activities – be popular!’. So he made it his goal to try to be all of those things as he looked up to Michael. Michael was always so nice to everyone but especially to Joe, and I think it had more to do with that Joe was his neighbor and not because he has special needs. He really looked out for him.
Fast forward – just received a text from Joe that he is going to be in the homecoming court! You cannot wipe the smile off my face, I’m so excited for him! It’s really a testament to these Wilton Class of 2016 students and their kindness, compassion and their friendships they developed with Joe. Although Joe struggles still in social situations and really doesn’t pick up on social cues, he really tried to do the things he set out to do to the best of his ability. And not having a shy bone in his body helped as he encouraged everyone to vote for him.
Every year Joe surprises me and beats our expectations. When he was little I pushed for him to be in the mainstream class, which at the time was against the recommendations. A teacher said to me that I should prepare myself because eventually he will need to be educated in a resource room. Boy did he prove her wrong! Being accepted as part of the student body is a humongous motivator for Joe. He has made so much progress and is such an amazing kid. Autism is not what defines him, although he is proud to have it and openly reveals this fact to his peers. He has inner strength and a desire to improve himself and be liked and accepted and that’s what drives him.”
We asked Joseph his thoughts about being elected to his High School’s Homecoming Court, and ever the gentleman he responded, “Congratulations to Daniel Glynn and Caraline Higgins for winning!”
If you want to read more about Joe, please read this story which he wrote, “Autism: Joe, Are You Paying Attention?” And please share it with others!