Mostly Non-Verbal Teen With Autism Gives Incredible Speech At Plano Senior High School Graduation

June 14, 2018
Caps, Gowns, Graduation, Speech, Speaker

(Photo via Dreamstime)


The graduation ceremony was the first time many seniors at Plano Senior High School heard classmate Sef Scott speak.

Sef was born with autism, and is largely non-verbal.  Donning a cap and gown, Sef waves to his peers and took the podium with ease, giving an absolute rousing speech centered on one theme.  He told the crowd, "Unexpected, That is what I want you to remember."  Sef joked with the crowd, sometimes even at his own expense, and encouraged his classmates to perform unexpected acts of kindness, like letting the person behind you in line go ahead of you, or saying thank you to a special needs person who might be bagging your groceries.  He also encouraged everybody to leave their comfort zones, much as he was doing at that moment.  He said, "Do the unexpected.  It is your life that you are living, not anyone else's, so do what fulfills you.  Don't fear the future.  Don't fear the unknown.  Will it be unexpected?  Yes.  Yes it will . That does not make it wrong."

Sef is mostly a man of very few words, but his mother Vicki believes he was inspired by his brother Sim, who delivered dozens of speeches after beating a brain tumor nine years ago.  And like all os us, Sef has a voice, and wanted it to be heard.  "Our goal was to have his voice heard in whatever way he could manage and so many people have taken away so much more than I ever expected.  It affected me so profoundly.  I could hear all around me, other people were crying, too," Vicki told WFAA.

Vicki told Sef after his speech, "I'm glad that you wanted to do this and you thought it was important, so good job."  Sef replied, "Awww.  That was exciting."


Now that he's graduated, Sef plans to enroll and participate in Adult Transition Services in the fall, where he will learn to live more independently.