After I calmed down and realized how pathetic I was, I couldn't help, but, daydream just a little....ok, fine, a lot...about perhaps one day, when I'm old and gray...ok, fine, older and grayer...sitting on my couch and woohoo'ing after hearing Ryan's name announced as a potential Emmy Winner. Chances are it would not be in the comedy category, since, although Ryan is freaking hysterical, he rarely tries to be or rarely gets his own humor. Now that I think about it, that might actually make him funnier and more believable, thus more Emmy worthy.
Like any good actor or actress, Ryan can memorize lines. In fact, he has spent his entire life doing just that...using lines he hears elsewhere to communicate. Very rarely does Ryan use his own words, his own script, or his own lines when communicating. There is very little ad libbing and improvisation going on with this future Emmy Nominee. If it's not in the script, it's not in the show.
One of the telltale signs of autism is deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, so it seems illogical that I would think Ryan has a future on the stage where language, verbal and nonverbal communication are essential. The thing is, an actor or actress is playing a role. They are not chitchatting with friends, trying to understand the social nuances of peers, or figuring out the appropriate response to a vague, hard to understand question, unless of course the role calls for that, and if the role did call for such situations, there would be a script telling the actor what to say and how to say it. Ryan would nail it.
During Ryan's first ever evaluation, I remember telling the folks from Early Intervention that Ryan rarely used his own language, almost everything he said was language he had heard elsewhere. This was the first time I heard the word "scripting". Ryan "scripts" lines, he has heard elsewhere, but, ironically is able to use them in just the right manner in a conversation.
I would say things like, "Fat B" is freaking hysterical, but, I think Ryan is even funnier. Can I hear Ryan talk now?". To which "Fat B" would respond, in a near perfect impersonation, "Maybe. It did sound a little wet there at the end." Did I mention Fat B loves potty talk? Too bad Ryan is not a Ryan Gosling fan, he'd have all the girls at school swooning.
At Ryan's most recent evaluation, his "scripting" and language deficits were at the top of my concerns and it turns out, I was right (sometimes I hate being right...not very often, but, sometimes). Ryan greeted the doctor and her staff in the most amazing British accent which had them all smiling, After the evaluation, the lovely doctor, in a very nice, professional manner basically told me that with as many kids as she sees, Ryan's language is poorer than most kids who walk through her door. Ryan's scripting, his verbal and non-verbal communication might just have peaked at the age of 12 and chances are, it's a good as it's gonna get. I felt like I was going to throw up.
I believe this wonderful psychologist was typecast perfectly for her role. To deliver such powerful lines, in a very kind and compassionate way to this worried freaked out mom, could have easily won her an Emmy. This kind doc was doing her job and she had memorized her lines and played her role beautifully, but, Denial and I still wanted to exit stage right and silently hope the curtain fell on her head.
Even though I have spent hours trying to understand autism, and even though, I have always been told that autism is a "life long disability", with Denial wiping my tears and repairing my makeup, I recognized that this supporting actress, this director, this stage mom had always hoped that the antagonist, Autism would exit stage left and never, ever be cast in a performance of Ryan's again.
I smiled through my tears and thanked the lovely doctor. I knew this kind psychologist was not the antagonist in this scene, nope, that role belonged to autism, and it always had. Talk about being typecast. And even though I felt like I had read and heard this script before, with a different cast, in a different scene, it still felt raw, new, and horribly painful.
I came home and cried and sulked just like poor Susan Lucci, who needed 19 Emmy nominations before finally winning the coveted award. In my heart, I believed that Ryan could still make progress, that he could find different scripts, different directors, different supporting cast and different settings that will enable him to do a lot more ad libbing and improvising. Just like directors have the ability to bring out performances in their actors and actresses that lead to Emmy Awards, with proper direction, Ryan may outperform any actor who has stood on the stage before him.
This is not a dress rehearsal, this is the real, sold out show. I refuse to let anyone predict the script...not doctors, not therapists, not experts, not even Autism. Whether Ryan's performance is held before a live audience or in the comfort of friends and family, I promise you, that during the last scene, when the final lines of the script are spoken, and the audience demands a curtain call, I will quietly exit stage right, and watch my star receive his much deserved standing ovation. And quite possibly that Emmy.