Lo­cal writer praises Tori Oliver

The Compass - - OPINION -

Thank you, Tori Oliver. Thank you for hav­ing the courage and the ob­vi­ous talent to open your heart and your mind to our Com­pass read­ers.

Your es­say on Page A1 of the June 24, 2014 print edi­tion of The Com­pass head­lined” Autis­tic stu­dent finds her voice at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate,” was bril­liant.

And, com­ing from a 16-year-old teenager makes it even more in­cred­i­ble.

I have seen first-hand the chal­lenges autis­tic chil­dren and their care­givers face ev­ery day in deal­ing with this hard to un­der­stand con­di­tion, at least un­til I read your es­say.

You car­ried me along on your jour­ney of dis­cov­ery and I am so glad your in­ner voice has fi­nally been set free.

Your touch­ing es­say should be dis­trib­uted far and wide amongst pro­fes­sion­als and fam­i­lies deal­ing with autism, es­pe­cially in chil­dren. It could be the ba­sis for your first book.

You have ex­posed the seeds to your fu­ture suc­cess, and made ref­er­ence to a ca­reer as a sci­en­tist or as­sis­tant vet­eri­nar­ian. I feel your fu­ture is as bright as you want it to be. You can be­come what­ever you want to be. You have the tools and you have the ob­vi­ous de­ter­mi­na­tion and the smarts.

The choice is yours.

A spe­cial per­son

The people of Gull Is­land in Con­cep­tion Bay North and the en­tire stu­dent body and teach­ers at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate re­al­ize they have a spe­cial per­son in their midst.

They must be so proud of her. Not only has Tori Oliver found her voice, she has demon­strated to the world her pas­sion and skill with words. She is a “di­a­mond in the rough” and I pre­dict she will find a ca­reer in writ­ing, be it in jour­nal­ism, pub­lish­ing, ra­dio or tele­vi­sion and per­haps in screen play. I look for­ward to her movie — “Tori’s Story.” Autism is not an af­flic­tion. I feel af­ter this lit­eral jour­ney with Tori, it is and will con­tinue to be a unique step­ping stone to her fu­ture suc­cess.

God bless you, Tori. Stand tall. The sky is the limit.

— Bill West­cott writes from Clarke’s Beach

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