I Have Autism: Ryan’s View


MTV’s mini-documentary series “True Life: I Have Autism” introduced viewers to Jeremy, Jonathan and Elijah, three high school students whose autism is old hat to themselves and their families.  It was 2007, and the research suggested that 1:150 children were on the spectrum. The research now suggests that 1:50 individuals are diagnosed. The 2013 series “World of Jenks” chronicled the life of one of those individuals, Chad a 21-year-old with autism. The series revealed a raw, intimate look at the daily struggles and victories, as well as what it means to be a young person today.

I witness the daily challenges and success of living with autism through my 19-year-old son. I often try to see life through Ryan’s eyes and include him in my blog posts, but today, Ryan shares his view on living with autism in a brief interview with Lisa.

Dressed in his khaki’s, a green polo shirt and red windbreaker the tall slender young man sat quietly on a bench, relaxed, and enjoying a much earned cold soda. I met Ryan on his break and he agreed to let me join him on the bench. He was happy to tell me about himself.

How’s your day today? “Good. Calm. Happy.”

Tell me about your jobs. “I like them.”

What kinds of jobs do you do? “I pick up trash, pull weeds, water plants, rake leaves and vacuum, but my favorite is to mow the lawn.”

Why do you like working and doing jobs? “It makes me feel good.”

Tell me about your favorite activities. “I like fun stuff.”

What is fun stuff to you? “Going to Washington D.C., Florida, Splash Lagoon, WaterWorld, golfing, the movies and LECOM. I like to swim at LECOM.”

Who are your friends? “Ryan Flynn, Maureen, Dick ….and Brian Cawly, Bryant Kimball, Lance and Diane.”

Do you have autism? “Yes, I have autism”

How do you feel about that? “Happy…It makes me feel good”

What’s the best thing about you Ryan? “I’m a great kid. I help people. I’m a nice person.”

The autism diagnosis changed the course of my dreams for Ryan. I have learned much about autism and being Ryan’s mom. I practice new approaches, sigh as challenges resurface, and laugh often. When Ryan was diagnosed with autism he was 1:500. Today he is 1:50, but to me, he always will be one. One great kid.

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14 Responses to I Have Autism: Ryan’s View

  1. Mary Beth Wachter says:


    Ryan’s interview is wonderful and you must be very pleased. Hats off to you for raising such a caring son who has developed such a strong sense of self and is happy with himself and cares for others.

    Mary Beth

  2. Sallie Newsham says:

    Maureen, I loved reading Ryan’s interview and could hear him saying his answers. I applaud you on sharing Ryan with all. He is a wonderful kid and I really enjoyed my times I spent with him!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maureen, what a great interview. You should be very proud of him!

  4. Kathy Vogt says:

    Maureen, Ryan has grown to be such a wonderful, handsome young man. You should be very proud of him. He seems happy and well adjusted none of us can ask for more than that. I miss you both. Kathy Vogt

  5. MissesC says:

    As the wife and mother of autistic people, I have to say this much: I would not exchange them for anything.

    • I have learned so much through Ryan. Would you share with me what you have learned?

      • MissesC says:

        I never looked at autism as a disorder. I knew from the beginning, that my husband and his Dad need a different perspective: they were looking at life in a different way (not bad or good, just different). They both are intelligent and very good at what they do. One of my student’s guardians told me that she felt confident that I could help her child due to my ability to get along with my husband. Who knew!

      • Each of us has a unique perspective. I simply respect the diverse beliefs of others. Happy 4th!

  6. Wolf says:

    My name is Wolf Dunaway also known as the AUTISTIC WEREWOLF. I try to help parents, caregivers and professionals by sharing insights from my lifr on the spectrum. I give many presentations to parents, caregivers and people living on the spectrum. I am successfully living on my own as an autistic man because; I stuggled over 40 years to perfect soping skills that work for me.

    I recently gave a presentation in Arizona that helped many people there understand the challenges of living on the spectrum much better. The organization that invited me is Autism Arizona United. My presentation was recorded and posted on YouTube. I respectfully ask that you consider looking at my presentation since I think it could offer valuable insights on living with autism to your blogsphere visitors.

    The link to my presentation is below…

    I think this gentlemans understanding of his autism is awesome. If he keeps up the hard work he will do better than I did at being a success. My prayers are with him. God Bless.

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