Meet Zane, a creative 16 year old that was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. It was so nice meeting him this year. He is full of teenage spunk!
Zane thrived with a set routine as an infant. His parents set a bedtime routine when he was 3 months old and he slept through the night as long as it was stuck to it precisely. As a toddler he would sit and play with some cars or a handful of legos for hours. He was so focused that every one had noticed. By the time Zane was 3 years old, his aunt strongly encouraged his parents to get him into preschool immediately. She was a Headstart coordinator and specialist in early childhood education. She didn't know how to point out the signs, but knew Zane would be evaluated if he started there. His parents are forever thankful to her for taking those first steps.
Zane is very independent and creative. He loves art and technology. Zane is smart and has an excellent sense of humor and vocabulary. He is very kindhearted and does not even like to see ants or spiders harmed. Zane is interested in vintage Nintendo games and creating YouTube videos. If you would like to support Zane and subscribe, you can find him on YouTube HERE. He loves his dog and cat and tolerates his brothers as long as they stick to his subjects.
When asked if Zane wants to share anything about autism from his perspective, his response was “Meh!”
Zane struggles with a slow processing speed. This frustrates many people because his full response can be an hour later or even the next time he sees them. He struggles with making friends and socializing.
About their autism experiences, Zane’s parent’s have this to say: “We have all learned to see the individual for who they are and have gained strong skills in empathy and acceptance. Going to public places. IEP meetings and moving from Minnesota school systems to North Dakota schools have been challenging. We have learned a lot about ourselves in this journey. Autism is so widespread and can be all consuming trying to get to the bottom of every tick. I want people to see the uniqueness in these people and see how those abilities and traits are what makes everyone special.”
Zane’s parent’s have this advice for anyone just starting their autism journey: “Reach out to others and have patience. Keep trying. Just take it one step at a time and enjoy your child's special powers.”