This post was written by Raymond Larmour, the father of Ryan Larmour, a young Irish man who has autism. Ryan has chosen to funnel his complex emotions about autism into rap music, and has raised over $ 6500 through his music to benefit autism charities.
My son Ryan was born December 6, 1995. He was 10 weeks premature, weighed 3 lb. 5oz at birth. At age 8, Ryan was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and ADHD. His mum and I joined a local autism group to learn as much as we could about his condition.
Ryan was in a support unit in mainstream primary school. He got on ok there, but never liked school. We eventually got him moved to a special school; they were fantastic with him in his new school, but Ryan just didn’t like it and started self-harming until he left school at age 16.
After another pupil sent him some rap songs, he told us that he liked rap music. He liked that they were getting out a message over complaining about what was going wrong in the world. The songs were standing up for something that was not right.
This propelled Ryan to start writing his own music. I believed Ryan could use his talent to try to explain to the world about his condition. I said to Ryan, “Why don’t we work together to write a couple of songs?” and so we did.
Ryan’s rap name W.A.D. stands for “We’re All Different,” which was the name of his last song which raised £4,277 ($ 6768) for autism. We are so proud of Ryan. He wants to inspire others and raise awareness about autism.
He can feel so rejected at times and does struggle to fit into a world and a society that does not understand him. People say he has a brilliant sense of humor and so it is these feelings that have helped fuel the lyrics and ideas for his songs, which he has channeled into making a positive change.