The family was at the mall and stopped at a candy store. As E and Lily ran in to start grabbing and eating as much candy as possible, Ryan stopped at the giant Easter Bunny in the entrance, shook his paw like a hand and then hugged it.
One of the more beautiful aspects of Ryan's autism is his inability to be dishonest in any way.
If one of my other kids does something wrong, they immediately look for a way to try to squeeze themselves out of it, by blaming another sibling or trying to make excuses or, sometimes, flat-out lying.
Until the begininng of this school year, Ryan was afraid to ride his bike without training wheels. We would walk places with the kids and he would walk with Mom and Dad, with E on his bike and Lily (with her training-wheels bike or bobby car) zooming all around him.
Certain things that are fairly easily for most children to overcome their fear of are much more difficult for Ryan. The need to balance a bike, that feeling you get when you take both feet off the ground, just terrified him. When he did try to ride, it was only when we absolutely forced him to do it.
Ryan's class goes swimming every Friday and he always gets very excited. He doesn't call it Friday; he calls it "Swimming Day." But this week, his teaching assistant, who helps him with his swimming lessons, was out sick so they asked me to pick him up early.
I was worried that he might be upset, so I planned a trip for the two of us to the mall. I thought that would help him forget missing swimming. So when I picked him up I tried my best to talk up how we were going to the mall instead of him not going swimming.
He got in the car, buckled up and said "Let's blow this ice cube stand!"
I have three children: Ryan (12), Ethan (9) and Lily (6). One is autistic, one gifted and one adopted. This is a record of some of the amazing things they say and do. I try to stop and look around at least once a day.