Below is a post from Joy and Josh about their son Matt’s diligent pursuit of his college degree. This greatly encouraged me with my own situation, and I hope you find it encouraging as well. Thanks, Joy and Josh! When he graduates, please don’t forget to send us an invitation to the party!! 🙂
As we have talked about before, Matt is working towards his Associate’s degree at a local community college. I wanted to talk about how meaningful it would be for us for Matt to receive this degree.
It took me 6 years to get my Ph.D. in biochemistry. During those years, I seriously thought about quitting at least once, and several times during the process I wondered if I would ever finish. But I kept plugging along, and on the day I got my Ph.D. I realized that as long as I live, nobody can ever take that away.
It’s similar with Matt’s Associates degree. Matt will probably take about 6-8 years to get a degree that many people can complete in two years. But Matt is not everybody else. At one point, for example, a special needs administrator told us she believed Matt would never make it through kindergarten. We often wondered if Matt would make it through high school. But Matt did make it through kindergarten and high school.
College hasn’t always been easy for Matt. He has failed some courses (in one case, this was due to an in-patient psychiatric hospitalization) and has had to take some multiple times. But Matt keeps plugging away. He has finished more than half of the required courses for his major.
We are confident now that Matt will one day get that Associate’s degree. And nobody will be able to take it away from him. He will be able to put it on his resume and it may help him to get a job in his desired career path like any “neurotypical” person. Whether or not Matt goes on with his education, we are very proud of him for sticking with his program and having the patience to see it through.