I know I usually only write about sports but I had to take this opportunity and use this platform to tell you about a very special, inspiring kid I met on Wednesday. I went to my telecommunications class on Wednesday morning and was greeted by a young man with great manners who said, “Hi, how are you today?” It was a nice way to walk into the room and I was amazed at how good his manners were. He then lectured us on a topic that I previously did not know much about. It was not a boring lecture though like most other lectures are in school. I learned more about this certain topic then I could ever have imagined and am glad that I did. For the entertainment portion, he recited word for word, action for action, a scene from the movie “The Incredibles.” He did not mess up once and honestly did a better job than most actors, Now what if I told you this boy had autism and was teaching us about what he “has inside of him?” You wouldn’t believe me, right?
Ryan Sinkleris is an 8th grade boy whose smile will instantly brighten your day. He is the type of kid that as soon as he walks in the room the mood just gets a bit happier. What I found so amazing about Ryan was that he did not see autism as a disability or a setback. He instead sees it as a characteristic that he has and it is just a part of who he is. He obviously gets that there are many challenges that come with Austism but that’s not going to stop him from liking his Thomas the Tank Engine trains or liking girls. He is still going to live his life as an 8th grade boy just like you and I did when we were going through 8th grade. He is just living life in a slightly different way. I hate when people use the word “special” when it refers to a child with a disability in a negative matter. Yes Ryan is special. Special in the sense that he is unique and brilliant. He is as special as Manny Machado is at 3rd base. So please, please, whenever you look at someone with Autism or another disability don’t look at him and think ” that kid is special “as a negative term, think of it as “he is truly a special person.” From now on, if you guys ever are walking down the halls, in the office, in the grocery store and you see somebody with autism, just give a simple smile and hello. You don’t know how far that smile and hello could truly go. It could make their day or even their week.
Ryan, this last paragraph is for you my man , I hope your dad is showing you this after I share it with him. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much about a topic I really knew nothing about. You gave me a better understanding of what autism truly is and you did an amazing job explaining it. You are an amazing kid and you should never change because the Ryan I met on Wednesday was pretty freaking awesome and I’m not just saying that. I know you have a pretty big milestone coming up; high school. I’m not gonna lie – it might at first seem pretty scary but I know you will love it here. I hope to see you again soon Ryan. Stay special.