by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Tyler McElhaney

Keep Calm and Carry On

Carson Wehlage is going into the eighth grade at R. Roger Rowe School. Because Autism requires him to learn and express himself in different ways, he might watch the Discovery Channel or a YouTube video on the planets, space, and other science elements – his favorite subject – so that he can share his findings with others. “I can share what I’ve learned at school,” Carson explained, “and my friends and teachers ask me questions about what I’ve learned.”

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Carson, whose family is originally from Boston, got lost when he was four years old at his house on Cape Cod. His parents couldn’t find him for three hours and the Massachusetts State Police, Barnstable County Police, and even Senator Ted Kennedy’s Secret Servicemen got involved in the search. As a result of this incident the family was able to secure an Autism Service Dog for Carson.

“Lexi helps me calm down when too many things are happening,” Carson said. Lexi tethers to him when he’s in a crowded or overwhelming situation and helps him calm down and feel safe. Lexi is a keeper for Carson, but she also helps him to open up and connect with others. “I may appear to be in my own world,” he shared, “but I really want to talk with people.” Lexi can go to school with Carson and together they do presentations for the students. “She helps me build friendships and talk with other kids.”

What is not surprising is Carson’s amazing ability to fully live his life despite any obstacle he may encounter.

student_wehlage_03Outside of school, Carson plays third base for the Miracle League every Saturday at San Dieguito County Park. He also enjoys swimming, Minecraft, and playing miniature golf with his dad. He strives to one day be a computer programmer. “My dad has a software company and they employ autistic workers to do software testing,” he explained. On who inspires him most, Carson shared that his parents do: “While I have a tough time being in social situations, they love challenging me to try new things, and help me prepare and process through my challenges.”

 

When asked what would most surprise people about him, Carson shared, “I was a baby model when I was two years old. They would put baby clothes on me and take pictures. I would see them in magazines, newspapers, and store catalogues.” What is not surprising is Carson’s amazing ability to fully live his life despite any obstacle he may encounter.


Meet Carson

Name: Carson Doyle Wehlage (13)
School: R. Roger Rowe School
Grade: 8
Parents: Charles and Jan Wehlage
Sibling: Ava Rose (10)
Favorite Spots: The Rancho Santa Fe Pharmacy and Caffe Positano

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