High school graduation is a special occasion for any teen–but especially for Timmie Shepherd.

It’s a milestone that at one point his family didn’t know if he would reach.

At the age of 3—Timmie was unable to speak—and diagnosed with autism.

His mother said the family couldn’t communicate with him.

But things began to change for the better—when Timmie’s parents took him to the pediatric developmental center at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital.

Over the next 15 years—Timmie worked closely with doctors, therapists and his family.

This spring, Timmie graduated from Northside College Prep and was recruited by colleges across the country.

“I think the other schools I applied to were DePaul, North Park, Concordia and River Forest,” he said Thursday.

He was even offered a spot at a competitive science program out of state.

Timmie’s progress has overwhelmed his family—and also his doctors.

His success—a testament to his hard work—and that of those around him.

Timmie will attend University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall where he plans to study accounting.

Published at 11:51 PM CDT on Jun 15, 2017 | Updated at 12:19 AM CDT on Jun 16, 2017

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