Autistic Valedictorian Gives Inspiring Message Without Saying A Word

Hispanic valedictorian giving speech

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Graduation season is here! And this valedictorian gives an inspiring speech without saying a word. Rollins College in Florida just celebrated its spring class ceremony. Where the valedictorian gave an gave an inspirational speech. Elizabeth Bonker made her speech without saying a word. She lost speech capabilities 15 month after being diagnosed with autism. She was able to give her speech through a text-speech program on her computer. .

"I am one of the lucky few non-speaking autistics who have been taught to type," Bonker said during the ceremony. "That one critical intervention unlocked my mind from its silent cage enabling to communicate and to be educated."

Bonker delivered her speech in front of her 500 classmates and the other 5 valedictorians elected her to give the commencement speech.

"God gave you a voice. Use it," Bonker said. "Because if you can see the worth in me, then you can see the worth in everyone you meet."

Her Mother was also very proud of her.

"I am not special. All non-speaking students with autism can be taught to type," Bonker said. "That is my mission. We need to change the way the world sees autism. Just because someone cannot speak doesn't mean they can't feel and think."

The perfect gift for mothers day was watching her daughter hit center stage and give her graduation speech.

"I'm just going to burst into tears," Breen said. "I think because it was such a long journey for us you know there were times which felt a bit hopeless."

Bonker wants others to remember how important it is to serve others and always remain hopeful just as her mother did.

"Parents with children with autism, I hope that what they may take away from Elizabeth's story is that their children are capable and that we need to keep investing in them, advocating for them, believing in them," Breen said.

Bonker has a nonprofit Communication 4 All with hope to make communication accessible to the 31 million people who have non speaking autism.

Check out her inspiring speech below.


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