Community Post: 10-Year Old Boy Reflects On Living With Autism

Meet my little cousin, Ryan. He’s your average 10-year old boy.

He’s obsessed with Ninjago, Minecraft, Skylanders, Etc.

That look on his face? Shock and disdain over the fact that I wasn’t understanding just how rare the Green Ninja is, as I continued to refuse to buy it for him.

He thinks butts are hilarious.

Armpit farts too, naturally.

He likes to annoy his younger brother, Jason.

But he also loves him. A lot.

Oh, right. He also has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ryan was diagnosed almost three years ago, just after turning 8. It was a very late diagnosis.

As scary as the diagnosis was for Ryan and his family, it provided them all with the opportunity to better understand what made Ryan tick and provided the tools to help him take control of his own life.

Here he is last April as a participant with Surfers for Autism.

After struggling for years with academics and social situations, he began attending a school that specializes in helping children with Autism thrive outside of their walls.

Outside of Ryan’s school in our matching Hawaiian shirts.

In his own words, Ryan describes his experience.

Out of the mouths of babes.

To Ryan, and the 1-in-88 children just like him: Thank you for being you! We can all learn so much from them, if only we can stop marginalizing them and start listening to them.

Tolerance is where it begins.

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