A Success Story - Meet Toby
is 26 years old, and is a living success story of an
individual with Asperger's. Toby works as a grocery
store courtesy clerk, drives his own car, and
continues to develop independent living skills in
his own condo. He is in regular contact with family
members, who advise on shopping and cooking, assist
with home maintenance and repairs, and support him
with tasks such as tax returns.
Beginning school at the age of four in a county-run
Special Day Class for preschoolers, Toby spent most
of his schooling years in SDCs for students with
learning disabilities. Thanks to his middle school
teachers and the growth he made in their program, he
was able to transition to Resource Specialist
support in high school, and attend regular classes.
His social development was greatly enhanced by this
transition, as well as though his participation in
athletics. He joined the cross country and track
teams, and lettered in both sports.
Toby works out several times a week, sometimes with
friends from high school who have now finished
college. He enjoys running 5K and 10K races around
southern California, and has run the Los Angeles
Marathon three times. He loves the outdoors, going
hiking the in the local mountains with his friends,
and volunteers at a local botanic garden several
times a month.
My best advice to parents of children with
Asperger's is to be patient, and keep your
expectations high. Be sure that your child has
teachers who will push him to achieve, while at the
same time providing all the support he needs. Please
read my advice to parents in "One at a Time,"
published by the Association of California School
Administrators in Leadership, May-June 2009.