He has done it yet again! The College Experience and Living Resources, Inc. are overjoyed to once again present the public speaking talents of David Lieberman who delivered a presentation at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
David is on the autism spectrum but has achieved more than many individuals without his challenges. In fact, David is the first former student to become a College Experience staff member since it was founded in 2005. David presented to a class called, “Transition & Disability: Life After High School.” Education Professor Mary Kelly teaches the class and invited David to meet with other students for breakfast and lunch. His co-worker, Jesse Saperstein accompanied him on the trip to campus and spoke immediately after David also regarding his experiences as someone living with autism.
David spoke eloquently about his search for post-high school opportunities in 2015 with the loving guidance of his mother and father. The College Experience is honored to hear about how much our program has made a difference in David’s chances for success that is augmented by his own tenacity. David’s family also pursued an intense regimen of early intervention services such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy when he was a very young child.
David is a Hobart and William Smith Colleges legacy. Both of his parents, his grandparents, three aunts, and an uncle attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges! David took a trip into the Campus Cellar Restaurant where his mother, Jackie, has her name on a plaque because she and a few of her classmates were the first to manage the Cellar!
The following is an excerpt from David’s speech with the full footage found below:
The house was a new house for the program. It used to be a Bed and Breakfast so it was a big house! I had a nice big room with my own bathroom. I shared the house with 7 other students, which was nice but also had its challenges. When you put people together, many for the first time living away from home, there are many new skills that need to be learned. We had to share one kitchen. We each had a shelf in the refrigerator and a shelf in the pantry. (They soon added a second refrigerator in the basement when it became clear it was too small!)
Part of the program was to menu plan and cook meals together 2 days a week. Because there were so many of us we were divided into two groups. I had to learn to compromise by sometimes eating food I would not have otherwise eaten. That was challenging for me since at the time I tended to eat the same things over and over again, but it was a good start to learn how to compromise. That first year we also had to learn the transportation system around Albany in an effort to foster independence. This was not a problem for me as I have been constantly studying google maps since I was young! Actually my Bar Mitzvah theme when I was 13 was “David’s GPS”! So I passed all of the bus tests very quickly and that was one way I gained confidence and independence traveling around Albany and being able to get to places like the mall by myself.
We also were required to join clubs on campus as a way of meeting and spending time with the St. Rose students. The first year I joined a hiking club although we didn’t meet that often. During my senior year, I joined an Improv group in which I liked a lot. I also worked out in the gym. Our classes included budgeting, history, and different independent living classes as well as classes on socialization.
GO DAVID! We look forward to seeing what else you accomplish especially because you are only 20 years old!