The holidays were a whirlwind around here. It was absolutely wonderful to be around family.
As this was the first year that Ryan could communicate with us so fluently, everyone wanted to get him gifts. I kept trying to get Ryan to come up with a Christmas list, but he continued to spell each time: BEING AUTISTIC, I DO NOT REQUIRE GIFTS.
Ryan still got plenty of gifts. When he was asked his favorite ones, he replied: MY FAVORITE GIFTS WERE THE ROBE AND WAND AND THE REST OF THE SERIES OF (Harry Potter) BOOKS.
He was also asked what his favorite part of the holidays was.
His response: BEING AROUND FAMILY.
This past week, we started back up with school on Tuesday, when Grace returned to school. When we sat down, I asked Ryan if he had anything that he wanted to say before we got started. He replied: DEARLY HAPPY TO BE BACK TO SCHOOL.
We did a lesson on the history of New Year’s Resolutions (thanks to another RPM parent who created and shared the lesson with other parents in an RPM Facebook group). As we were doing the lesson, Ryan interrupted (instead of answering the question) to spell: I HAVE MADE A RESOLUTION FOR THIS YEAR. I asked him if he could wait until the end of the lesson and remember it then and he replied YES. At the end of the lesson was the opportunity for Ryan to come up with his own New Year’s Resolution. He spelled: MY RESOLUTION IS TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF MY TEETH. (Coincidentally he had a dental appointment that morning and he was told that he had two cavities.)
Ryan is very motivated to spell when he is interviewing someone. He and I talked about the possibility of interviewing his dad, Randy, during the holiday break. Ryan was excited to do it. Here is Ryan’s interview with Randy.
Ryan: DEARLY INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU DO FOR A REAL COOL JOB.
Randy: I am a Systems Engineer for a computer software company called VMware. I am on the technical sales side. Most data centers use our software. (Randy continued to explain to Ryan about the intricacies of his current position).
Ryan: WHAT IS A DATA CENTER?
Randy: Data centers house powerful computers that companies use to support their business as well as cool things like their blogs or internet sites.
Ryan: MEANINGFUL TO ME. I AM INTO COOL, CALLING IT, DEALING WITH COMPUTERS.
Randy: Prior to getting into technical sales, I worked day to day using a software that my company sells.
Ryan: DO YOU HANDLE CUSTOMER ISSUES TOO?
Randy: I help connect customers to the best support experts but I am no longer on call for day to day or high severity issues.
Ryan: YES TO MOVING UP IN THE WORLD.
Randy: (Laughs) Yes you could call it that.
Ryan: WE CAME TO TEXAS BECAUSE OF YOUR NEW POSITION, RIGHT?
Randy: Yes and because of our family being here. I was burned out on being the expert on non VMware competitive products and I wanted to have a chance to be able to tell customers how great our products are and to be able to be positive about the products we sell.
Ryan: MEANINGFUL TO ME. I AM IN SO MUCH RESPECT FOR WHAT YOU DO.
Randy: My job is not nearly as important as the military, police, firefighters, doctors, etc.
Ryan: DEEPLY MOVED BY WHAT YOU SAID. DID YOU KNOW THAT WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO RIGHTLY DECIDE FOR A CAREER?
Randy: As a kid I was always interested in how things worked and I was always interested in taking things apart. As I was growing up, I wanted to do something with technology because I thought that getting into technology made sense for a career.
Ryan: CARING TO DEARLY DECIDE ON A CAREER IN COMPUTERS IN TEN YEARS.
Stephanie: (I chimed in here). Ryan, there are many companies now that are hiring autistics to do work with computers for their company and many of the opportunities are remote which means that you can work from home. Companies are starting to recognize the talents of autistics and are taking a chance on hiring them. In Silicon Valley, I know of one mom in particular who has made it one of her missions to help get opportunities for autistics specifically in programming.
Ryan: YES TO MEANINGFUL TO ME TO HEAR THAT.
Stephanie: Anything else that you want to ask or say to Dad?
Ryan: DAD, THANK YOU FOR TALKING TO ME ABOUT HALLMARK CAREER IN COMPUTERS.
And just as he had done when he interviewed his Uncle Ryan, Ryan was very hyper in the beginning of the interview, but about two questions in, he completely settled down and was quiet and sat and listened (very engaged) for the rest of the interview.
Stay tuned as Ryan has a few more interviews lined up in the next few weeks!