Ryan isn’t your average athlete. He is totally blind and has autism, so finding sports that meet his unique needs is difficult, to say the least. Playgrounds, community sports teams and schools often lack the resources and equipment to engage athletes with disabilities. So, for years, Ryan did not have the opportunities his sighted peers frequently enjoyed.
“In our hometown, it’s easy for him to feel isolated because he’s the only kid who is blind,” says his mother, Chandra. But all that changed when they found the Wayfinder Paralympic Games six years ago. Ryan got to compete in activities with kids who are just like him.
Each spring since then, Ryan steps onto the field ready to shine at the Wayfinder Paralympic Games. He makes new friends, reaches new heights and accomplishes a little more than he did the year before.
“Every year, something happens that just blows me away, and I feel so proud of all that Ryan can do,” says Chandra. “You just never know what your kids are capable of until they try it.”
And Ryan really does try! In fact, over the last six years, he’s tried more than a dozen different adapted sports and earned several bronze, silver and even gold medals. But more important, the skills that he’s learned will last a lifetime, helping him build independence and reach his greatest potential.
December 30, 2017