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Father and son develop bond through running

Posted at 11:27 PM, Sep 25, 2015

Thousands of runners descended on Columbus Friday night for the annual Mill Race Marathon.

Among them were a Johnson County father and son. The two started running together only earlier this year when they found it significantly curbed the 12-year-old's frequent autistic meltdowns.

For Ryan Rueff's family, it was a life-changing discovery.

"If he had one meltdown and it lasted long enough, it would basically ruin all of our days, and, you know, you were just hoping for bedtime," said Rob Rueff, who, with his wife, has been searching for years for an activity to help his son Ryan.

On March 17, Ryan and Rob went out for a 3-mile run. Since then the two have run more than 400 miles together. And, Rob says, Ryan's focus and mood have improved, and his tantrums have subsided.

"It means the world to me," Rob said. "To see where he was, say 8 years ago, and where he is at now … I mean my world would be lost if we didn't have this running right now with him, I think."

To see more, watch RTV6 reporter Chance Walser's story in the video player above.