Meet Ronin from Newfoundland and Labrador
Take part in every program that is available. The difference in Ronin since first starting speech therapy and JASPER is night and day. It has benefited him beyond words.”
It’s been nearly two years since Ronin, who is now 4 years old, was diagnosed with autism. He’s smart, thoughtful, curious and brave. Ronin lives in what is considered to be one of the most autism friendly towns in Canada, Port aux Basques in Newfoundland. This small community is socially aware and inclusive, making it a perfect place for someone diagnosed with autism to grow up.
In addition to his friendly town, Ronin has found supports across the board, from his parents who utilize all of the programs available to him to help him succeed, to his grandparents who have learned the different skills to aid in development and play, to his dedicated daycare providers. Ronin has found so much success in speech language therapy and JASPER, accelerating from using only a few words to being able to express his feelings and clearly communicate his needs to other people around him.
Ronin's unique sense of focus means he is great at puzzles and remembering things. His daycare providers, who see Ronin in another environment interacting with other children, praise his progress.
Learn more about Ronin’s autism journey through this Q&A with his Mom, Erica.
At what age was Ronin diagnosed with autism?
Ronin was diagnosed at 2 years 5 months with ASD. He was only using one or two words and didn't play like a typical child his age.
How has autism affected your life as a parent?
A lot of support is required from family and support workers. You must reevaluate how you communicate with your child and how you play.
How does it make him unique, and help him excel?
Ronin is still fairly young and still finding his way, but his unique sense of focus has caused him to excel at puzzles and memorization. There isn't much that he does not remember or miss out on.
What struggles has Ronin faced because of his autism?
Before a lot of intervention, communication was a struggle. He couldn't convey his feelings in a typical manner or describe his wants and needs. A lot of hard work over the almost two years has seen him come full circle and he has no problem communicating his feelings or what he's looking for from people around him.
How has your family supported you through your autism journey?
Ronin has seen so much support throughout his journey so far. Myself(mom) and dad have made sure we've utilized all of the programs available to him to help him succeed in life. His grandparents take the time to learn the different skills in order to aid him in his development, particularly his nana who helps with his play. His speech language pathologist and JASPER teachers have been detrimental in helping Ronin develop cognitive skills. And his daycare providers are the best at what they do. They see him interact with other children and play in an environment that we don't get to see and they're always praising the progress he is making.
Has Ronin’s life been impacted by Coronavirus?
It has been impacted because he couldn't receive in person visits for quite some time which really benefit him opposed to telehealth. But luckily, we were given a tablet through the Samsung program that made his JASPER parent mediated intervention sessions easy to accomplish.
What advice would you give to a young person, recently diagnosed with autism, wondering what the future holds for them?
Take part in every program that is available. The difference in Ronin since first starting speech therapy and JASPER is night and day. It has benefited him beyond words.
What five words best describe Ronin to the world?
Smart. Thoughtful. Manarly. Curious. Brave.
Why are you interested in becoming an Autism Speaks Canada Ambassador?
We live in the “most autism friendly town” in Canada, Port aux Basques, NL. Most businesses have been deemed autism friendly/autism aware from our local autism group through education and it truly is the perfect place for someone diagnosed with ASD to grow up. It's a small community with a lot of social awareness of autism and spreading the word to other communities could help make more places inclusive to the increasing population of people diagnosed with this disorder.
Please join us in helping create a kinder more inclusive world for people with autism. Show your support for Ronin and other people with autism by donating generously.
Disclaimer: These are subjective opinions and real experiences of autistic people across Canada. Autism Speaks Canada does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks Canada provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties.