Is She Going To College?

"Is she going to college?" by David and Mercedes Rizzo (

Copyright 2018 David and Mercedes Rizzo. All rights reserved.

A few months ago someone asked us which colleges our daughter was most interested in attending. When we told her that our daughter was not going to go to college, she appeared to be shocked. Immediately she asked, “Are you okay with her not going to college?”

We are not okay with it, but we accept it. Our daughter has special needs and we do not expect that she will ever lead a life independent from us. If things were different she would be heading to college this year.

About 15 years ago when our daughter was being evaluated for the preschool disabled program, a member of the child study team asked us what our long term educational goal for her would be. We responded that we wanted her to get a college degree. It took us a long time to accept the fact that college would not be part of her life. It challenged our expectations of her.

"Is she going to college?" by David and Mercedes Rizzo (

Copyright 2018 David and Mercedes Rizzo. All rights reserved.

Our daughter is now at the age when her non-disabled peers have written college essays, received college acceptances, and chosen the college that they want to attend. We are always happy for the successes that the other children are experiencing, but sometimes we feel sad that our daughter’s path is different from what we had hoped for her when she was a baby.

However, many children with special needs can go to college successfully. Parents often know what accommodations are necessary for their child’s success in college. Decisions about college can cause much anxiety. If you are experiencing this, it is a great time to put your concerns in God’s hands. We remember the words of one of our favorite biblical passages from  Jeremiah 1:5:

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

If you are feeling anxious about your child’s college options, repeat those words. Trust in the plan that God has for your child.

Copyright 2018 David and Mercedes Rizzo


About Author

David and Mercedes write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media. Visit to learn more. Follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Authors of Praying For Your Special Needs Child, (Word Among Us Press) and Spiritually Able and The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (Loyola Press).

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