Saturday, March 7, 2009
Welcome to the groundbreaking "College Autism Dream" blog, which describes the story of David Nisson's college journey. This blog is posted by his personal assistant and family member, Mary Nisson. David is a math/science brainiac and has a BIG dream about earning his Ph.D. in high energy physics, and then working in collider physics. He is studying toward his bachelors' degree at the University of California at Davis. So far, he's been on the Dean's Honors List every term.
However, Dave has autism. So, if his big dream is going to come true, he needs a lot of help. That's what Mary does. She helps Dave by escorting him to class, to honor society events and physics club meetings, to planning sessions with counselors. She makes sure he safely crosses big streets like Russell Boulevard and Anderson Road. She also helps him to communicate with professors, classmates, advisors, administrators and doctors who are meeting for the first time an autistic adult with a dream as big as David's.
Mary helps David to meet deadlines for financial aid, registration, and library book due dates. She shops, cooks, and drives to the Alta California Regional Center, the Social Security Office, and Wal-Mart. In other words, by having a family member "sweat the small stuff", the autistic college student (David) can focus on the studying itself (in this case, physics).