At the age of 3, Ryan was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder. At the time, I didn’t realize that PDD was autism. When my son was 4, I wasn’t sure what his abilities should be. I decided to keep a journal of what was going on with Ryan. Later, when I would read back, I’d be crying or laughing, or I’d be frightened because I couldn’t believe we had lived through the experience.
We eventually learned that Ryan would elope, which happens in 48 percent of children with autism.