Texas Teen With Autism Delivers Touching Graduation Speech: 'Do the Unexpected'

Playing Texas Teen With Autism Delivers Unexpected Graduation Speech

A teen with autism who is usually nonverbal brought the house down at his high school graduation in Texas when he stepped up to the podium and delivered an inspiring speech about doing the unexpected. 

"Unexpected. That is what I want you to remember: unexpected," Sef Scott said as he began his speech to the Plano Senior High School class of 2018. “First and foremost, I would imagine that to the seniors that know who I am that it is entirely unexpected that I would be standing here giving this speech."

Scott introduced himself to the crowd, explaining he is a student with learning differences.

"To be more specific, I have autism and a social communication disorder," he said. "Just by being here speaking to all of you — me — that alone is unexpected."

The crowd responded with cheers as Scott continued on.

With the help of his brother, a brain tumor survivor who often gives speeches to raise money for children’s charities, and his mother, Scott wrote his graduation speech to ensure his voice was heard, he explained.

And as all great speech givers tend to do, Scott peppered some jokes among the gravitas. 

“We all share one thing in common for sure: We all made it. And how do I know that? Well it's kind of obvious. You're all here with me at a graduation ceremony wearing those caps and gowns. Yes, I have autism, but I am also a smart-alec. Unexpected, right?" he quipped as the audience cheered again.

Doing the unexpected can yield great rewards, and in the process, help others, Scott said.

Let the people behind you in line go first, or donate tickets to a show you can no longer go to to someone who would give anything to be able to attend.

"That simple gesture could brighten what could have been a gloomy day," he said. "You can sprinkle unexpected moments throughout your everyday life that can benefit those around you with very little effort on your part."

Scott urged his classmates to do the most unexpected thing in life, by living for themselves.

"Ask yourself, 'Are your next steps where you want to go?' If they aren't, step off of that path," he said. "Will that be unexpected? It probably will be if you are not sharing your hopes and dreams with your loved ones.

"Don't follow someone else's dreams," he continued. "Don't waste time on something you never wanted. Do the unexpected. It is your life that you are living, not someone else's, so do what fulfills you."

Scott’s nearly six-minute-long speech — a huge feat for any public speaker — received a deafening round of applause.

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