This Boy With Autism Became Verbal Thanks to Iron Man — and He Just Met Robert Downey Jr.
Iron Man should now go by Miracle Man. During Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, guest host Robert Downey Jr. sat down with a child whose life he changed. Sure, fans of the Marvel superhero have been obsessed with his character for years, but Vincent Arambula's story is different. Vincent has autism and was nonverbal until his parents got him an Iron Man helmet at 6 years old. Within 24 hours of wearing the mask, their son "was a different child," Vincent's father, Andy, told Robert. Andy said, "The mask grounded him and allowed him to feel confident."
Now, at 10 years old, Vincent's met the superhero who transformed him into the person he is today. Before the mask, Vincent said, "it was painful" not being able to express himself. "I got an Iron Man helmet and it helped me talk and imagination play," he said, as I teared up at my desk. "[The mask] helped me talk and it helped me hide my identity from the world."
Robert said people always ask him what he'll miss most about playing Iron Man in all the Marvel movies, and his answer will tug at your heartstrings. "It honestly is being able to talk to moms and dads and young folks and see how this had a positive impact on you. And it just makes all these last years of working on it worthwhile. I cannot thank you enough," he said.
Vincent's parents are eternally grateful for Robert and his Avengers character for helping their son find his voice. Watch the sweet video above, and see photos of the family with Robert ahead.