He had been a victim of bullying in school, so his father wanted to protect him from further discrimination. “My goal was to study with him until fourth period, which was the time necessary for him to socialize. However, he didn’t let me give up and we stuck together until the end,” the man says.
Brazilian Luis Felipe Soares, 47, is an industrial technician who lives in Vitória with his partner and son, Lucas Weberling. The latter was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 12 years old and suffered from bullying throughout elementary and high school. Lucas has been a victim of constant discrimination and prejudice because of his condition, so when he told his parents that he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, Luis Felipe felt that he had no other options but to support and accompany his son in his college career.
This father of three decided to go to college and study with Luis Felipe. The father’s presence helped Lucas strengthen his confidence and socialization skills. When Lucas had to introduce himself in front of others in the classroom, he revealed that he had Asperger’s and that he didn’t see his condition as a limitation. “We evolved as individuals and as a society through coexistence and inclusion,” said the young man who is now 23 years old, some time after that memorable moment.
“I was very nervous and anxious to go back to school, even more so in an area that is so far away from where I am, since I’m a graduate. However, Lucas calmed me down with his serenity. My goal was to study with him until fourth period, which was the time necessary for him to socialize. However, he didn’t let me give up and we stuck together until the end (…) Lucas was just another student in the class. All the work and tests were done equally. He completed the course due to all his efforts.“
– said Luis Felipe Soares to UOL News–
After a lot of hard work and several hours of study, they both managed to graduate from law school together. They’ve just graduated from Espírito Santo Law School in Vitória, and they’ll receive their diploma in February 2021. Although one of Luis Felipe’s great concerns was his son’s ability to socialize, he had no problems at all. In fact, when the classes went online, Lucas began to miss his classmates. You could even say that the father was more nervous than the son.
“The first day of school I was shaking. I was very anxious to see how things would be, how I’d handle it. Everything was very new for everyone. There’s no barrier that he [an autistic person] can’t overcome. If they help him and he has someone who believes in him, he can change the world. Honestly, I think that’s what the world needs: more people like us. More people who believe in people, who make them believe that the world, even though it’s huge, can become intimate because of the number of people who will help you throughout your life. If you have that, I believe you can do it all.”
– declaró Luis Felipe a TV Gazeta–