We are The Ronny Train. We participate annually in Walk Now for Autism Speaks in North Carolina. The Ronny Train was created in honor of my son, Ronny. At 3 years old, Ronny was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This year, Ronny is 6 years old. After re-evaluation, his diagnoses has been changed to Moderate Autism.
Ronny is like most little 6 year old boys. He loves dinosaurs, Thomas the Train (hence The Ronny Train), running and playing, and just being a boy. He has the best laugh and smile in the world, and it's completely infectious. However, Ronny is different from so many. Ronny doesn't say much though he has words. He is able to express his wants and needs, but he can't always tell you how he feels. Ronny isn't able to answer simple questions like "What did you do at school today?" or even "Did you have a good day today?". We have to rely on Ronny's teachers to tell us how his day was and what he learned. Our biggest fear and worry is that one day someone will hurt Ronny, but he won't be able to tell us. Unfortunately, that's a fear for many parents of children with autism.
It's a very hard life to live. We are blessed because Ronny's autism is not completely debilitating. There are many families who struggle with severe autistic behaviors. Behaviors that require special therapies and LOTS of money, putting them into phenomenal debt and destroying marriages. That's why we support Autism Speaks. Not only do they fund research for a cure, but they also provide resources and advocacy for families struggling with autism. For many families, they are the light in the darkness known as autism.