Family Life

Autistic student who 'never speaks' gives graduation speech

Sef Scott wants his classmates to be unexpected. 

When the teenager stepped onto the podium at his high school graduation from Plano Senior High School, acknowledged that some of his class might be surprised to see him there. 

Sef has autism and often chooses not to speak. But he still got up on stage to deliver a six minute commencement speech- about doing the unexpected. 

"Just by my being here, speaking to all of you — me — that alone," he said, "is unexpected."

Sef's mother and brother, who is a brain tumour survivor and charity activist, helped him compose the speech and run through it line by line with him. Vice principle of the school, Bryan Spiritus hoped that the teen could do it, but still had his doubts. 

"I was concerned that standing in front of his 1,400 peers and the 8,000 people in the arena, that he might freeze up," Spiritus told CNN. "But about a minute into it, I realised that wasn't going to happen."

Sef was chosen not because of his learning needs, but through a voluntary audition process. We can see why, Spiritus continued to say that it was  "probably one of the best graduation messages I've heard." He added that Scott wasn't chosen simply because of his disability but because of presentation and the inspirational message behind the speech. 

Scott closed his speech with this: "Remember, if you are following in someone else's footsteps, you will only get where they want to go. Be the unexpected, like me. Do the unexpected for the benefit of others. Live the unexpected for your own happiness."

Watch the full video here, the message is too powerful to ignore: 

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