Ryan was born with Autism; we knew something was going on within the first six to nine months. At one point we were told Ryan was deaf and we even had tubes put in his ears. Like a lot of parents, we didn’t fully accept that anything was “wrong” with our son until a doctor at a Children’s Hospital diagnosed Ryan with Autism at the age of 16 months. Truth be told, we were devastated and very confused. I had never even heard the word Autism, nor had any idea what it meant.
Ryan did not speak until he was almost 4 years old. Without the Rob Reiner Center and most of all his Teacher Ruth Pristash, Ryan would not be where he is today. Growing up he attended mainstream classes with his peers and made remarkable progress.
Ryan didn’t get many breaks. He was constantly working to better himself. Whether it be in the classroom or at home, he was always busy. He attended speech therapy, occupational therapy, adaptive PE, after school tutoring, ABA therapy on the weekends, and summer school each year. Ryan worked hard to graduate earning his high school diploma from Vista Murrieta High!
Ryan’s struggles are not seen by the rest of the world. The rest of the world does not understand why he is taking so long or what he is staring at. They don’t understand why he makes those “funny noises”, stimming with his fingers, humming for no reason or flapping his arms. They don’t understand why he is asking questions that are completely irrelevant to you and I or why he walks on his tip toes. The Autism MX Project was started for Awareness, for my son, and those on the ASD spectrum.