His parents were once told he may never speak; now this teen is an aspiring sports reporter

"My dream job, I think it would be something in sports talk radio or research making predictions about teams," the 15-year-old said.


Andrew Roberts loves to talk about sports.

The 15-year-old developed his passion from a young age, absorbing all the statistics he could from his first set of Boston Red Sox cards he got from his parents.

“My dream job, I think it would be something in sports talk radio or research making predictions about teams,” the Massachusetts teen said.

When he was 10, with his mom’s encouragement, he created a blog called Boston Sports Media, writing hundreds of posts since.

But for as much as he loves to write and talk, a speech pathologist once told his parents that he may never speak.

Andrew was diagnosed with autism before his second birthday.

“My heart stopped. I didn’t want to believe it,” said Ken Roberts, Andrew’s father. “But we did our research. This was supposed to be one of the best speech pathologists in the country. So we figured, OK, now what?”

Andrew quickly proved doctors wrong.

He has since been re-diagnosed with Asperger’s, according to his blog.

Not only has he transformed his passion for sports as a way to communicate with others, but he also began using that intense interest to carve a way into a sports reporting career.

He already has some reporting experience under his belt, working as a “kid reporter” for the Boston Bruins and covering golf at the Special Olympics as a fellow for the Flutie Foundation for Autism.

In March, Andrew was a keynote speaker at a conference for the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

“Thanks to living in New England, my obsessions with sports and weather have helped me relate to others and gave me plenty to talk about,” he told the audience.

Andrew said it’s easier for him to do public speaking than it is for him to be speaking to a single person.

“I’m actually more comfortable on stage than I am one-on-one with people,” he said. “I struggle sometimes with social skills.”

All that’s needed is some encouragement to guide him along.

“Really, there’s no one definition of autism,” said Debra Roberts, Andrew’s mother. “It looks different with every child. So you can’t really know what the future’s going to hold. You just have to believe in your child and leverage their strengths.”

Watch the video above to learn more about Andrew's story.