More than 200 students received diplomas Saturday in a packed main spectator gym during graduation ceremonies for Wawasee High School. In a separate ceremony June 3, when the gym was not filled, another student received his certificate of completion in a much more low key ceremony.
Trevor Archer earned his certificate of completion, said his mother, Amy Frazier. “He is actually autistic and not of the spectrum type,” Frazier said, describing her son.
A separate ceremony was held for Archer because it would have been too overwhelming for him to participate in Saturday’s graduation, said Wendy Hite, director of special services for the Wawasee Community School Corp. Archer was not the only Wawasee student with autism to graduate this year. Three others graduated Saturday, but they function at a higher cognitive level than Archer and many people would not recognize they have autism, Hite noted. Those students plan to go to college, she added.
Archer needs assistance for activities and daily living, his mom said. He can talk and dress himself, but he can’t drive and needs someone else to keep his schedule.
Frazier clarified her son did not actually meet the Core 40 state requirements in order to earn a diploma, but was instead issued a certificate of completion by WHS. “He met his curriculum and did his time,” she said. Nonetheless, it was still a significant achievement and “we are very proud of him,” she said. And he was warmly acknowledged as a special person by Brooke Miller, WHS valedictorian, during her speech at Saturday’s graduation ceremony.
Archer was diagnosed at the age of 3 with autism when it was not as prevalent as it is now, Frazier noted. The family moved to the Milford area in 2006 and Archer has attended Wawasee schools since.
Trevor has no college or employment plans yet. “He would love to do creative design for Walt Disney,” mom said.