We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
That honestly depends on the person. There are times when you should give up, but most keep going because of hope and determination to make things better themselves. I may be pessimistic from time to time, but I never expressed a desire to end it all.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wrote articles for autism and was on the famous channel Special Books By Special Kids. It wasn’t an easy journey but with my determination to make a difference for the autism community, I pulled through. After being on Special Books By Special Kids a lot of people reached out to me and I made connections I never imagined. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you might find a companion that will support you for the rest of your life. I wrote several articles for Autism Speaks mostly on my personal experience living with autism. I also wrote articles for a website called Neuroclastic. Podcasts were a big part of my advocacy too. There was Dudes of Future/Past, Autism Live, Love First Podcast, DayDreamin with Dylan, Podcast with Holly Blanc Moses, Adulting on the Spectrum and Crohn’s & Autism Awareness Advocate. I’ve really come a long way and I plan to keep on going.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to the Georgia Aquarium because it’s exciting to watch marine life. They also have the Ocean Voyager exhibit which is very relaxing. We would eat at one of the best burger places which is Village Burger in Dunwoody. There is also Six Flags since I love roller coasters and Centennial Park where you can chill or play.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I just want to shoutout to my friends and family who support me. My cousins Tiye and Drew. Few of my best friends Zach Woodburn, Blaine Broth, JC Blalock, Patrick MacDonald, Patrick Robinson, Julia Ervin, Colt Steingraber, and AJ Beck-Deblasi. Also a shoutout to my friend who I made a great connection with over the past couple years after being on Special Books By Special Kids, Jason Mills. Me and Jason have become like brothers. A few other advocates deserve some credit like Claire Dees, the director of my support group program Spectrum. Ashley Dudley who is a great friend and advocate. Kerry Magro who’s also a great advocate for the community. There’s also Judith Ursitti and Holly Blanc Moses who have autistic sons themselves. Last but not least, Chris Ulmer who runs Special Books By Special Kids, I wouldn’t have made great connections without him.
Other: My Special Books By Special Kids interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ko5gyFwtf8&t=36s