At the age of 2 and a half, Erik Weber suffered from a severely high fever. Shortly after, he received an autism diagnosis.
Weber quickly lost motor control and all of his language skills, left with the ability to only grunt or scream. His doctors expected he would be institutionalized and never be able to live on his own.
However, his mother was determined to prove otherwise. As a child, Erik attended the Scottish Rite Autism Clinic where he received specialized communication therapy. The clinic also provided educational programs for parents, caregivers, and educators that taught helpful techniques to cater to their individual child.
With the guidance of one willful instructor, Erik was able to develop basic language skills and left the center only after two years later. He continued to defy the doctor’s predictions by participating in Special Olympics where he became an accomplished athlete.
In an attempt to develop social skills, Erik helped his mother Sandy Weber with local political campaigns. City Council Woman Marti Emerald embraced the duo to be a part of their team. There he learned how to better understand first impressions, body language, and facial expressions. Sandy also attributes his progress to some trips he enjoyed at San Diego Zoo. Here, he studied animal behavior and social interactions.
Through perseverance and hard work, Erik was able to beat the odds and accomplish his dreams. As of December 2014, he graduated from San Diego’s prestigious Cal Western School of Law where he formed special bonds with his fellow classmates, family, teachers, coaches, and members of Emerald’s office.
Erik went onto study for the California Bar Exam, arguably one of the most difficult in the country, and hopes to practice special education law. Now, his name can be found on the February 2015 California Bar Examination Pass List.
This is truly an inspiring story from a man who considers himself an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. His lasting words of wisdom: “Be strong, live courageously, and never give up.”
Written by Raiza Belarmino