You see, Emmet always felt happy, he always felt good about himself, he always felt...special in a "special agent" kind of way. Emmet didn't feel different from anyone else, but, once his differences were pointed out, once he recognized that he was suppose to be someone he wasn't, then and only then, did Emmet's happiness falter. Then and only then, did Emmet feel "less". Emmet may have needed the instructions to build, he may not have had the creativity to save the world, but, Emmet was special and it was his belief in himself, it was how he saw himself and not how others saw him that made him special. Once the Lego People discovered that "special" had various interpretations, various qualities, and various meanings, they finally started seeing Emmet and his different abilities as special too.
Ryan may not create the next Lego master piece, he may not save the world from Lord Business by freeing the Master Builders with his unique creation, but, Ryan is The Special. For some, Ryan's "special needs" may make him appear "less", but, if they remove the word "needs", the only word left is "special". Special means, "better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual". Yes, my boy is indeed The Special.
Like Emmet, Ryan follows the instructions right down to the last Lego block. Ryan lives in a world where directions, instructions and rules have a calming effect on him. A world that can be so confusing with it's subtle social cues, and "unwritten rules". After the movie ended, Ryan decided he was more like The Man Upstairs than Emmet. The Man Upstairs also built his Lego creations by following the instructions and he did not believe that you should ever build with Lego's any other way. In fact, The Man Upstairs was so rigid in his beliefs that he wanted to use Kragle (Crazy Glue) so his creations would always remain the same, so his creations could never be used in a different way. As we exited the theater, and I discreetly hid the potential rule breaking evidence of an empty Diet Coke can in my coat pocket to avoid prison time, I smiled to myself. Ryan may relate to the rigidity of The Man Upstairs and his Lego building technique, but, Ryan could never be The Man Upstairs, because using Kragle, aka, Crazy Glue, is not found anywhere in the instruction book.