Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eric Duquette

Autism Light #134 is Eric Duquette.

Eric Duquette is from Smithfield, Rhode Island. Eric has autism and in 2010 he was the Salutatorian for Smithfield High School. His high school graduation speech was inspiring and was a demonstration of an amazing accomplishment. That was almost two years ago and in 2012 he inspires the autism community by his continued success in college. Eric Duquette is an Autism Light because he shines as an example of perseverance and dedication necessary to succeed in life with autism.

In his 2010 graduation speech Eric Duquette said, "My parents were told I would most likely end up in an institution. I stand before you accepted into every institution of higher learning I applied to (Source)."

WPRI 12 News: WPRI 12 Eyewitness News did the following feature in 2010 at the time of Eric Duquette's graduation as Salutatorian of Smithfield High School.

ABC News American Heart: Diane Sawyer did a report on Eric Duquette for ABC News American Heart. A written report of the story is at this link and ABC News has also placed a video of the speech  on their YouTube Channel.

Advice for Students: Autism Light asked Eric what advice he might have for students with autism to be successful in school. He said that two keys are:
  1. Having the courage to ask for accommodations (help) if it is needed. 
  2. Trying to know at least one student in each class that can be a potential study partner.
Judy Duquette (Eric's mother) said the only accommodation that Eric receives is extra time on his exam if he needs it. She wrote Autism Light that:
You need to know that Eric spends almost all of his time (up to 10 hours a day) studying (outside of class time). He is ridiculous. He has a great work ethic but, as a parent, I wish he would stop and smell the roses once in a while. He holds himself to very high standards that most of us will never meet.
College Years: Eric Duquette chose to attend Rhode Island College. He is currently a Sophomore at Rhode Island College, where he is studying biology with the goal to be a Pharmacist one day. He was recently a speaker for Diversity week at Rhode Island College and a What's News Online article was written about him.

Pharmacy Program: On March 17, 2012, Eric was accepted into the Pharmacy Program at the University of Rhode Island. This is the next step in his goal and dream to be a Pharmacist.

Special thanks to Eric Duquette for being an example of the amazing accomplishments people with autism can have. Your life accomplishments and advocacy for disability awareness are inspiring.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photos in this post are used with the permission of Judy Duquette.