The Faces of Autism: Ryan

Meet Ryan, an active 12 year old boy that was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years old. He participated in Faces of Autism, you can read last year’s story HERE. He is also the younger brother to Nathan, who was featured earlier this month.

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In the past year, Ryan has struggled with some aggressive behaviors. His parent’s got him involved with the Special Olympics and he has been using his sports to burn off a lot of energy. He also started 6th grade, which means middle school. He also is involved with United Sound music playing violin and is in band playing percussion.

Ryan has become a lot more social. He likes to talk to people and is always wanting to be out and about. He likes to be as active as possible. Ryan enjoys anything sports related. He loves basketball, hockey, and football. He is currently in track and volleyball with Special Olympics and did basketball last season. He loves local sports of Century, Bismarck Bobcats, the Bucks, and the Larks. He even loves to go on weekly errand running.

Ryan struggles with aggressive behaviors and meltdowns as well as with severe anxiety. He has become very social but yet struggles to form friendships due to not knowing what to say and being shy. He struggles with academics, so his parent’s are very grateful for his aides at school.

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Some of the highlights of raising a child with autism “Listening to him tell stories from his perspective of life and understanding makes me a better mom daily. He sees the world as good and has only positive thoughts on it.” says Ryan’s mom. When asked about some of the unique challenges, she replied “His meltdowns and behaviors are very hard to deal with especially for his brother and sister. They take a lot of patience and time.”

Ryan wants people to know that he is just like any other kid. He loves gaming, sports and having fun just like other boys his age.

What Ryan’s parents would like others to know: “Understanding and acceptance without judgement is all we want. Seems so many judge our lives or think it is our parenting that leads to behaviors but it is not.We lead a life full of routine but can't imagine it any other way.”

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If you suspect your child has autism, or your child recently received a diagnosis, Ryan’s parents advise “Take time for yourself. Make sure to take care of yourself first. Autism can be overwhelming at times. Be good to you. Making a support system that allows you to talk about the good days and bad days is vital. Refreshing yourself is a must.”