Uxbridge, ON Canada – 15-year-old with autism Austin Riley is going on tour to raise awareness about autism and the importance of embracing your passions.
The inspirational go-kart racer and his family were motivated to go on the North American Racing with Autism tour because of there own successes. Austin was diagnosed with ADHD and later autism at a young age. Because of his unique learning differences he needs help with the toaster and tying his shoes. But in his early teens Austin found go-kart racing and throttled his way forward to win three club-level go-karting championships. He eventually graduated to the most advanced form of go-kart racing called DD2.
“We put Austin in it for the first time and he looked more comfortable in that than he did in the go-kart he had been racing for three years previous,” Austin’s father Jason news outlet The Star, “Every time we speed him up he looks more comfortable because the kart is actually moving at the same speed as his mind. It’s an amazing thing to see.”
What’s even more amazing is the reaction Austin has received. To kick of the tour that plans to stop in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California, Oregon, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, Austin and his family did a presentation at his high school of Uxbridge Secondary School. The talk mostly focused on the ups and downs of Austin’s learning differences and how racing has helped him overcome them. During the talk Austin’s car was on display and he signed photos of him racing while people signed a banner the Riley’s will take on tour. The response was overwhelming.
Jason posted later on the official Racing with Autism page,
“Never in a million years did I think Austin would receive a standing ovation by almost 1,000 students, staff, friends and parents chanting his name.”
Sources: Shawn Cayley on the Durham Region website: A rockstar send-off for Uxbridge’s Austin Riley as he gets set for autism awareness tour
Stephanie Wallcraft on The Star website: Autism: Austin Riley’s track prowess sparks North American tour