Teen with autism celebrates successful senior year - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teen with autism celebrates successful senior year

Danny is a Homecoming king, swim team member and is getting ready to graduate high school. Danny is a Homecoming king, swim team member and is getting ready to graduate high school.
Danny carried an Autism Center card that states the person carrying the card has autism. Danny carried an Autism Center card that states the person carrying the card has autism.
Never one to allow her son's autism to keep him from experiencing life, Debbie Franklin came up with a plan to help him travel during Spring break. Never one to allow her son's autism to keep him from experiencing life, Debbie Franklin came up with a plan to help him travel during Spring break.
JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

School dances, sports, spring break at the beach, 18-year-old Danny Janisse of Jackson has enjoyed it all.

"I think it's a pretty interesting experience," Danny Janisse said of his recent Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach, his first time on a plane.

"I think the beach was my favorite interesting thing from Myrtle Beach," he said.

"Danny is my son first, and he happens to have autism," Debbie Franklin said of her middle child.

Franklin says she'd worry if any of her three sons traveled alone.

But she faced new obstacles in getting Danny across the country and safely to her sister's for Spring Break.

"It was a little bit of added anxiety, with Danny flying, especially transferring planes," she said.

Never one to allow her son's autism to keep him from experiencing life, Franklin came up with a two-tiered plan.

First, a family friend would help him switch planes. Danny didn't know her, but knew she would know a special password.

"I kept asking her, what's the password? And then, she says Aunt Nee-Nee," Danny recalled.

Franklin also armed her son with a small red card.

"This is my Autism Center card," Danny explained as he shows it to me. "She gave me this in case of emergency."

"It states on there that the person carrying this card does have autism," Franklin explained of the card. "And it also makes a specific address to any police officers he might be dealing with."

"I may not understand my legal rights," Danny read from the card.

"I am a believer that the world is never going to accommodate him or his disability," Franklin said. "And for him to have the most fulfilling life that he can have, he has to learn how to get along with everybody else. So, we keep Danny involved with everything that's going on. He is fully included in school, always has been."

"What is your favorite part of high school?" I asked Danny.

"Well, probably everything!" he responded.

And who can blame him? Homecoming King. Swim team member. Danny's enjoyed two very full years at Jackson High School. And his mom's been with him every step of the way.

"If you think something is best for them, you need to fight for it. If you think something is wrong and needs to be addressed, don't give up," Franklin said. "Keep pushing forward with that. You know. You're the parent."

Now this very proud parent prepares to mark the next milestone, high school graduation, as both mother and son look to a very bright future.

Debbie Franklin got Danny that red autism alert card from the Tailor Institute through the University Autism Center in Cape Girardeau.

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