University of St. Thomas student with autism to graduate with 2 degrees

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St. Thomas student with autism to graduate with 2 degrees (KTRK)

A University of St. Thomas graduate is making history when he walks across the stage this weekend.

Johnathon Vermaelen is the first student with autism to graduate from the university with a double major.

Vermaelen was diagnosed with autism as a child, but worked through the challenges of the disorder to earn his degree in criminology and political science.

Vermaelen says having autism has both positives and negatives when it comes to higher education.

"Well, autism gives me the intelligence of a super computer but the social skills of a rock, at least initially," he said.

Vermaelen hopes to earn his paralegal certificate before eventually going to law school to become a lawyer.
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