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Del Valle high school honors Autism Awareness Month by premiering student-written play

Robert De La Rosa was diagnosed with autism at age five, but his mom knew there was something different about him when he was two years old.

“He used to line up VHS he used to line them up in like a train pattern. I didn’t know why,” said Maria De La Rosa, Robert’s mom.

Throughout his childhood, Robert developed a passion for movies, and that love for movies is what helps him deal with the struggles of autism.

“My writing is kinda difficult to understand sometimes. When I was a little kid I had a difficult time writing my words and it’s so hard because nobody could understand it. So I type things out now,” said Robert.

Robert used his passion for movies to help write a screenplay for a Western-themed play about robotic cowboys titled, “The Ballad of Roobie Rookie.”

He spent five years writing the play, and when his high school theater teacher read the play, she fell in love with it.

“And so I asked his mom and the gentlemen who helped him write it, Austin Savage, if we could shorten it and put it on stage,” said Marissa Thurman, theater director at Del Valle High School.

The cast spent two weeks rehearsing the play, and Monday night Robert’s five year-long dream came true as students, family and friends gathered at Del Valle High school to watch the play.

As for what he has planned in the future?

“I’m making another story about tourists, about how they discovered things in the islands,” said Robert.

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