Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When predictions fail: The story of a special needs football player

Michael Oher was a “special needs” student — by any criteria. Based on the journalist's description (these are often unreliable), he sounds like he might have met the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder as a younger student — though that diagnosis does not appear to have been made.

Mr. Oher had immensely bad luck for over half his life, then vastly better luck since then. His story was in the NYT Magazine this weekend. He’s expected to become a very well paid professional football player.

Stories don’t end with a magazine article. Disaster could strike Mike Oher tomorrow, or he could retire from football a wealthy man. One thing will not change, however. No matter what befalls Mr. Oher in the years to come, he, and his adoptive family and teachers and friends, have broken “the four minute mile” of personal doom. The impossible, once done, becomes the conceivable, then perhaps the common.

BTW, if you don’t shed tears by the end of the article, your situation is indeed dire.

No comments: