Lives with: Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, Anxiety and OCD
Referred by: Cox Mill High School
Hometown: Huntersville, NC
Favorite Sport: NASCAR
Ryan, a 16-year old from Huntersville, NC lives with Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, Anxiety and OCD. He is an upbeat teenager with a friendly personality. Ryan enjoys making new friends, so he loves school and wants to be a teacher when he grows up. He is very focused on details and having a clear plan for his daily activities helps each day run a little more smoothly. Sometimes Ryan’s OCD and responses to sensory stimuli make new situations difficult, so trying new things can be scary but not impossible. He has lots of help from his mom, dad, and younger sister. They help Ryan navigate his day which includes lots of positive verbal reinforcement for a job well done. His favorite reward for good behavior? A fast ride in the car!
Ryan’s favorite thing to do is to go really fast in cars, and it’s pretty cool that his mind works equally fast to process and calculate locations and dates. In this age, most people don’t go anywhere without activating their GPS and it’s a rare treat to meet someone whose GPS is built-in – no device needed.
Ryan’s dream is to ride with a professional race car driver in a really fast car around the speedway. He says, “Fast rides make me laugh and happy. I want to drive and I love going places.” Guess we will have to wait and see who gets to determine the actual direction of the ride—the professional driver or Ryan, the human GPS!