Franklin to offer college program for teens with special needs


Dalton Duke and his mom Gloria pose for a photo outside their home in Franklin, Ind. Ind. Dalton, a 19-years-old special needs student with autism, graduated from Franklin Community High School in May of 2013. He will participate in a program that allows students with special needs from Franklin and Center Grove High Schools to enroll in classes at Franklin College. Dalton and other students in the program will attend classes and recreational activities on campus and be employed in the community surrounding Franklin College. The program is designed to help special needs students become more independent and move forward after high school like the rest of their peers. Mike Wolanin / The Daily Journal

When her son finished high school but didn’t earn his diploma, Gloria Duke worried he wouldn’t get to attend college.

Her son, Dalton Duke, 19, has autism and wasn’t able to meet all of the required class and testing requirements. The family decided he would get his certificate of completion instead. Under Indiana law, he can continue taking classes at Franklin Community High School until he is 22.

But Gloria Duke doesn’t want him to get stuck in the comfort of high school, where he knows the daily routines, the locations of classes and all the teachers.

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