Name: Michael Wayne
Lives with: Autism
Hobbies: Sports writing, working out, announcing high school games/events
Favorite Sport: football
Sports Hero: Al Michaels
To say that he is an inspiration to many would be an understatement. Michael O’Neill is an amazing young man. Diagnosed with severe autism at 2 years old, Michael did not speak until the age of 7. In addition to his autism, Michael has also endured the sudden loss of his brother and the divorce of his parents. Michael is working with a behavior specialist to help him navigate social situations and maintain his upbeat attitude.
“He has excellent endurance and leadership skills and is a true leader to his team,” may be words Michael uses to describe his favorite football player, Tom Brady, but the same could be said for him. While in school Michael ran track, helped out his football team, and even participated in their workouts. “Mr. Union County” currently has over 15k followers on his colorful Instagram where he regularly posts about local sports teams and players which gives him plenty of practice since he is currently the sports writer for his local paper, the Monroe Enquirer-Journal! Michael also uses Instagram as an inspirational platform to educate and describe what living with Autism is really like –– a gift.
When he is not attending sporting events or enjoying steakhouses, Michael is exercising, reading, or worshiping at his church. This intelligent young man graduated high school last year and is currently driving himself to CPCC where he takes regular classes to become a sportscaster. Michael’s sports dream would be to co-host Sunday night football and meet his hero, NBC Sports Commentator, Al Michaels.