Autistic Student’s Inspirational Graduation Speech

High Desert Education Service District News Item

Eric Duquette is the salutatorian of his high school, an honor student, a musician, and he has autism.

The 18-year-old Duquette, who couldn’t say a word until age five, gave the commencement speech at his high school graduation ceremony Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“My parents were told I would most likely end up in an institution,” said Duquette. “I stand before you accepted into every institution of higher learning I applied to.”

“Never underestimate the power of a smile. . .do not allow yourself or others to be defined by your limitations but rather your abilities.”
Eric Duquette