This piece really speaks to me. I finished high school and went to University in Texas. Luckily, I got an opportunity and made it out decades ago. But my sisters and their kids, and my friends from work and school are all mostly still there in that “anti-social unless it is something for me” environment. One of my sisters has a son who is far more disabled than the boy you described. He’ll never walk, never speak to his parents and say, “I love you.”
Because his dad works for the state, they have great insurance, otherwise he’d probably already be dead. That is another story, as they say.
As with the boy in your story, my nephew was able to go to school. It took him a long time, but he graduated. He learned to sign a little. He got to be with other kids. He got to learn. He got to be part of society. I have no illusions that as private schools continue to grow and suck our tax dollars out without giving equally back (and without proper oversight), the next generation of mentally and physically challenged kids will be left to sit at home (or worse), because the anti-social forces have no space for kids like him on their balance sheet, and their parents don’t have the money themselves.