Home > In Their Own Words > The Truth About Me

The Truth About Me

This post is by Ryan Lord.

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind.  To do anything that you want to do.  That is the strength of the human will.  To trust yourself to test your limits.  That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds.   “The Truth About Me” was realized a few years ago when my parents told me what a special part of me is…autistic; specifically, Aspergers Syndrome a type of high functioning autism. Accepting change and letting go of things dear to me are daily challenges of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.   Making friends and learning the social cues necessary to sustain friendships is the hardest part of being autistic.  Despite everything that comes with being diagnosed with autism, some of these very challenges have shaped me, and pushed me to my academic best by giving me a true sense of who I am.

When I have a dear attachment to something even if I am finished with it I can never let it go.  A few days before I wrote this essay, my mom asked me to give my old Pokemon games to my little brother, because she thought I was too old for them. Even though I stopped playing it, I still had some attachment to those games because for me when I put such hard work into something and letting it go is very difficult. Even though most people would much more easily give up their bonds, I for one do not let them go so easily. This has made me a kind and gentle person and I am able to appreciate what I have and not take it for granted.   Another example of this is when I was in elementary school I knew a little girl named Kira.  Kira and I were the best of friends. Kira was very tomboyish and I was different.  We made the perfect outsiders that found each other’s friendship.  However, one day she moved away and I was down in the dumps. I was really sad when she moved away. It was really hard to let her go, I wished I could see her again. Most six year olds, would have easily found a new friend and moved on, but for me, it was devastating.  Aspergers allows me to appreciate and care for all things in my life. Everything is precious to me, from my little brother to all my best memories of the people who helped me in my life. This makes me grateful for what God has given to me.  So even though it is sometimes hard, I find what is good about this part of me and I continue to try and understand and appreciate it.

Over the course of my life I have been passionately interested in many different subjects. Trains, airplanes, and dinosaurs, are among the many subjects which I have come to study. I have a bountiful amount of knowledge in my head that I can recall at a moment’s notice.  I perseverate on these subjects so much, that sometimes it distracts me from my school work –  much to my parents chagrin. I learned about many different types of airplanes how they were designed why they were made. I went to air shows, watched videos on them, collected books and I learned so much about them. This passion of airplanes has steered in the direction of possibly considering majoring in aerospace engineering.

Ryan and his best friend Austin

Making friends has always been the hardest part of my diagnosis. I prefer my own company and I would consider myself a very shy person. I am the type that likes to have a few close friends rather than have a whole bunch of friends. I was never really good at making friends. But I have acquired some skills that allow me to interact with people. It took a class of “Learning to Make and Keep Friends” to help me in this department.  A part of this class was to invite a new person to your home and not play any video games.  It was a homework that was hard for me and even harder because electronics is such a big part of modern day socializing.  I got the courage to ask a boy in my neighborhood for a playmate.  This class and this play date was a life changing event.  My best friend turned out to be a friend I met from a homework assignment.  As I said before, I don’t need a bunch of friends, all I need, is one good friend and his name is Austin.

The truth about me is no different from anyone else’s truth. We all have things to overcome; we all have to have the courage and will to succeed. My diagnosis makes me no different from anyone else, I choose to think, it sets me apart makes me strong. “Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.  But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” – Ella Fitzgerald. This is a quote I believe in.  My journey has never been easy but along my way, I have looked at my gifts I have and marveled at them.  I have looked at all the things that would have surely hindered my progression but instead, they have served me very well.  My diagnosis as it turned out gave me my best friend, it provided me with honors in an early college prep program and has helped shaped the caring, passionate, gentle person I am today.  Aspergers has given me a strong sense of who I am and and incredibly strong sense of determination and self esteem.  There will always be things that I am good at; there will always be things I will never be good at.  I take those in stride and try not to miss a beat, or the boat to life, or the boat to life’s next big adventure or challenge.

  1. January 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Keep up your positive outlook . My son is 18 and has Aspergers as well , and he too strugles with socializing and perseverating . But on his path through the trials and challenges of therapies , teachers and distractions he has amassed substantial knowledge on a host of subjects . He is currently enrolled in a middle college program akin to a prep program focussing on the computer IT field . In this he flourishes like he hasn’t before ! You kids with Aspergers hold a key that many people would gladly accept , that is the ability to focus on subjects with a passion and an analytical prowess rarely possesed . This capacity has been apparent in some of histories most notable individuals ; Albert Einstein , Thomas Edison , M arie Currie and many , many others . Follow your passion and be the best at what you do and you will find happiness and peers who will appreciate your unique abilities .

  2. January 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Ryan, as the mom of a 9 year old with Aspergers you give me hope. From your honesty to your quotes to your outlook on life.

    Always remember… you are Ryan first.

    • Sarah
      January 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Yes! I love what lookielou said. As a mom an Aspergers child, I so enjoyed your article! God fashioned you exactly how you are and you are using the gifts He gave you for His glory. God bless you and thank you for sharing! :)

  3. Clarita
    January 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Thank You, Ryan for give us all the hope we need, as parents of autistic Kids we think what is going to happen when they grow? Now I know he will make it all the way even if I am not around,
    thank you and God Bless You, and keep it up. I know my little Socrates will become a good dancer he loves to dance and he loves Music,

  4. Becky
    January 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    What an inspirational young man you are! Many blessings to you in your future! May you and Austin always be best of friends!! :)

  5. Lesley B
    January 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Awsome essay. What a wonderful boy U r

  6. Pam
    January 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    This also helps me in my son is 5 and he has similar problems letting go of things, even just a picture he drew. But this makes me look at it different thank you!

  7. January 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Beautiful, Ryan. I just found out this weekend that my two year old grandson is going to be tested for Autism. Thank you for your inspiring words, and your positive outlook on life….Just from reading what you have written tells me that you are indeed a wonderful,, young man who will go far in life. My best to you.

  8. E Cortez
    January 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Wow great story!! My son is 8 w autism your story is very inspiring god bless you and thank you for giving me hope

  9. Meghan
    January 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I work with children Birth -Three with Developmental Delays or Special Needs. I have helped many families through the difficult process of receiving a diagnosis. I have also seen so many of those families take control, advocate for their child and inspire others. I always wonder what each child will be like when they grow up. Wonderful to hear a story like this. I will share it with my families. You are an inspiration!

  10. January 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Ryan. You give others hope and even some understanding. God Bless you in your journey

  11. Beatriz
    January 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing i also have a son who is 8years old and has Autism and understand how life some times is not easy.but in God we believe that every thing is OK..God bless you all and specially to you Ryan ♥ ♥

  12. Karen
    January 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    You said a mouthful! You have a wonderful life ahead. Perhaps one day you will meet a girl with whom you can be best friends.

  13. Marco
    January 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Ryan, my son is 5 and his name is Pedro. We’re from Brazil and the things here is hard about autism, but reading your words give me hope to keep it up. God bless you and keep been his excellent boy you are. Best wishes.

  14. Kayla Bartel
    January 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you very much for this. It helps parents of autistic children like myself understand more about our children. I pray that Evan will grow up to be as wonderful as you.

  15. Krista Calixtopiza
    January 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you Ryan for sharing your story . It gives me hope for my little girl Leeah , she is 9years old with the same form of Autism .

  16. January 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing Ryan, you sound like an amazing, inspirational young man! Quite capable of any feat you put your mind and heart to. Your words give me encouragement and solidify my belief and hope that my 5 year old son too, one day, will find his voice and way in life despite of ASD. Keep testing your limits and dreaming big and thanks again :)

  17. January 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Please keep being you and never gve up. I have a son who also is just like you except he refuses to except his autisim Wichita holds him back. So if u have any advise for him I would be greatfull and tell himself every word. You are a inapration and your parent must be very proud. Kristin Reynolds

  18. Cheryl Reynolds
    January 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    How beautifully written Ryan, Thank you for your strength ,My 13 year old grandson continues to fight with autism (asperger’s) When he gets upset and out of control sometimes it is so difficult to bring him back down.
    You just helped this Nanny that he calls me to understand a little more of what he is feeling.He has such a hard time letting go. and a harder time loosing friends . Thank you for helping this Grand mother to understand more of what her precious grandchild is going through. You are a great young man .

  19. Jessica
    January 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Beautifully written, Ryan! You have a perseverance that so many would love to have and it will take you far in life! The best to you, your family and Austin!

  20. January 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you Ryan for sharing your story. I pray my son will realize that our differences are a gift from God. And God only wants us to do our very best. May God bless and continue to allow you to share with others. It gives us all hope. Thanks.

  21. Michelle Alvarez
    January 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I truly love your attitude and perspective in life!! Why be like everyone else when God created you to be different! God bless you

  22. Susan
    January 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I love your outlook. I will share this with my children with the hope of inspiring them and giving them courage. Thank you so much for sharing your message. So beautifully said.

  23. January 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! Keep on living & living to the best of your abilities!

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