Meet Ryan, an 18 year old player from our Parker, CO program. “What’s been great about sports is that he’s gotten so much better with dealing with people,” his mother Paula said.
Ryan, who is a senior in High School, was about 2 years old when he was diagnosed with autism. “We have a daughter who is now 21 years old, and we noticed that around 2 years old, Ryan wasn’t reaching the same milestones as she did back then,” the mother of 2 explained.
Once they had a proper diagnosis, they started different therapies to help Ryan. “We started speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, tutors and pretty much everything that might help,” she laughed.
But as we talked about how she figured out what was needed for Ryan, Paula explained that it has a lot to do with meeting people. “That’s how you find out about a lot of things like PT, OT, so the more programs like ACEing Autism, the more you meet people and hear about other things. People have to work together,” she says enthusiastically.
Ryan has always been good at math but reading and change have been a challenge. “He used to be very upset by change, for example if a softball game got canceled, but he’s gotten so much better over the years.”
As she continues to explain, ACEing Autism has been a big part of his progress. “Craig, the Program Director is amazing,” Paula says ecstatic. “To find someone who can relate and teach them the way he does, it’s amazing. The first time I went, the kids were all listening, following directions and it was crazy to see that.”
Ryan and his family have played tennis together before but he was never able to hit it properly. “Most of the time, it was more like baseball,” Paula laughed. “I couldn’t believe that he could actually hit the ball in the square that coach Craig was telling him about. I was watching him like ‘no way!’”
As we finished our interview, Ryan came on the call and as he heard us talk about ACEing Autism, he quickly interjected “I whack the balloon with my racquet for warm up,” as he is laughing.
Please, join us in congratulating Ryan and all his progress and for participating in his 1st ACEing Autism session!