Ben Gretchko – Graduating with Autism Ben just successfully finished his first year at Western Michigan University with a 3.7GPA.


One year ago Ben Gretchko, a young man with autism, gave an inspiring speech at his high school commencement ceremony. A raw video of this speech went viral reaching over 2.5 million viewers because of Ben’s gratitude for the students and teachers who “helped to push him to be the best student that he could be”. News stories on local TV news and articles about Ben followed. What are the touch points in Ben’s life that transformed him from a 3-year old with no words and moderately severe autism, to a high school graduate who’s bound for college?

These questions are answered in a short film of Ben’s story “Graduating with Autism”, which we’re proud to share with the world. See Ben preparing for his speech, nervous and excited for this big moment on stage. Hear how his parents, Lisa and Steve, struggled with the challenges of autism and embraced PLAY Project’s early intervention techniques that showed clear progress.

Ben had both parental and professional guidance and is now thriving in college at Western Michigan University after finishing his first year of college with a 3.77 GPA! He is staying at WMU for the summer to take on two summer school classes as well. “We can only hope that Ben’s huge success will encourage and motivate all the other children, and parents of children with autism to find their potential within and write their own success stories one day.” – Lisa Gretchko

The PLAY Project was fortunate enough to host Lisa Gretchko as our keynote speaker this past May at our Advanced Conference. Lisa shared the story of the journey her family went on to put Ben through public school as a child with autism spectrum disorder. Lisa had 5 great educational touchpoints for both parents and professionals that she shared with our audience.

These five key educational touch-points will be covered in a upcoming blog by Lisa Gretchko. Stay tuned!


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