For the next two weeks, Tommy is spending his afternoons at the school learning to better use the Plato system to pass the Gateway tests. He used it last year for almost all of his classes so we are pretty familiar with the program. While other high school students change classes, over-weight and uncoordinated Tommy sits in a chair in front of the computer. While other students write papers and do projects, Tommy plays q and a with the computer. IF Tommy successfully makes it through high school, he won’t have the note-taking, studying and writing skills needed to attend college but he will know the random, meaningless facts needed to be on a game show.

By taking the tests over and over again, Tommy will eventually learn how to answer some of the questions but he won’t know how to apply the information or make any use of it. Tommy is quite happy using a computer all day long but it isn’t just Autistic students using the Plato software. This is what Knox County does with many of their high school aged special eduction children. Why don't they just let him stay home and log into the school computers from the safety of his own bedroom if this is how he is going to spend his days?

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