A nonspeaking valedictorian with autism gives her college's commencement speech

A nonspeaking valedictorian with autism gives her college's commencement speech

She didn't say a word — and that only made her message resonate more powerfully. Valedictorian Elizabeth Bonker recently delivered the commencement speech at Rollins College in Florida, urging her classmates to serve others and embrace the power of sharing.

Bonker, who is affected by nonspeaking autism, hasn't spoken since she was 15 months old. But thanks to an accepting attitude from her peers and teachers and help from technology, she has overcome many challenges and graduated at the top of her class at the Orland0-area school.

"God gave you a voice. Use it," Bonker told her fellow graduates. "And no, the irony of a nonspeaking autistic encouraging you to use your voice is not lost on me....

Full story at wlrn

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