I’ve written before about my high-functioning autistic daughter and the fact that she hadn’t yet graduated from high school. Well, SHE DID IT!

We heard the good news on Friday last week. She received the minimum passing score on the written essay exam (the only test she hadn’t yet passed) on the very last chance she had for a high school diploma.

I have officially unbookmarked the GED informational websites from my PC.

I think she was in shock when she called the high school to find out her score (literally a question she had to ask after  EIGHT different testing dates) and they finally said she had passed. The woman then told her she could come on down anytime to pick up her diploma.

Wait… WHAT?

All that stressing and testing so she can nonchalantly pick up her diploma from the high school’s front office? It was an anti-climatic and slightly depressing end to the whole ordeal. I told her it wouldn’t hurt to ask if she could participate in the late summer commencement with other students that didn’t graduate with their class.

She was noticeably excited as she drove to the high school, even if it was only going to be a five-minute exchange to pick up the long-awaited diploma. As she opened the car door, I told her to leave the keys with me in case I started to get heat stroke and needed to start it up.

“You’re not coming in with me?” She hesitantly put the keys back in the ignition.

“Nope. No helicoptering on this one. You can handle it – GRADUATE.”

She texted me from inside a few minutes later to let me know that the people she needed to speak with were in a meeting, and she wanted to wait in the lobby for an hour until they came out. My daughter can be quietly persistent and unintentionally stare people down, so this is what I pictured:



Thankfully, it didn’t take an hour. The next text I received informed me of the good news: The school would hold onto her diploma for now because she will be able to walk with the 2016 class! (She also had to text me to tell me to return to the school to pick her up-I wasn’t going to wait an hour.)

I’m glad that she’ll be able to attend a commencement ceremony, albeit a whole year late, and I’m doubly glad that those cap and gown pictures that were taken over a year ago will be put to good use.

Since it was little late to order new announcements, and I’m a cheap bastard anyway, she agreed to doctor up the original ones with humor.

It seemed appropriate and summed up our feelings about the Clark County School District’s senior exam policies, the high school counselor who failed to put her into the alternative writing testing program in the first place, and the year-long path to graduation:

Grad Announcement Outside


Each announcement has a different color “6” since that’s what we had in our crafting supply box.


And the inside had to be modified as well…


Grad Announcement Inside
Some of the announcements say “A weekday? What’s up with that?!” on the left. The original 2015 date was (conveniently) on a Saturday.


She probably should’ve been held back around second grade, so I suppose graduating a year late was her fate all along. I told her to look at it this way: She was able to get a year’s worth of college courses in during her “last year” of high school without actually having to go to high school. She considered this for a moment and agreed, as many of us do, that high school sucks.

Now, if she can manage to pass the DMV’s driving test, preferably in less than eight tries (she’ll be taking it for a third time soon), we’ll be all set.