Ehrmantraut overcomes obstacles from autism


IMAGE / Grant Sterling

Freshman Matt Ehrmantraut overcomes autism and strives in his first year at KHS.

Matt Ehrmantraut, freshman, is skinny and usually wears dark clothes. His hair is cut into a dirty brown bowl. He has a tuft of thin hair on his chin.

He participates in quiz bowl and chess.

Even though he has lived in the Flint area his entire life, Ehrmantraut plans to leave at some point.

“I do like it here, but I’m either going to travel or completely move out of state,” Ehrmantraut said. “I’m too used to it around here, and I want to see something different.”

He has also gone to Kearsley for all of his school career.

“I have made a lot of friends here,” Ehrmantraut said. “I had an opportunity to go to Davison in middle school, but I couldn’t go through with it because of the great friends I’ve made.”

Ehrmantraut’s best friend is Kaleb Loyer, freshman.

“I met him in middle school,” Ehrmantraut said. “I didn’t have a lot of friends and he was one of a couple people who I talked to frequently.”

Freshmen Matt Ehrmantraut (left) and Kaleb Loyer pose for the camera. They have been best friends since the sixth grade.

Ehrmantraut joked with Loyer about video games and politics throughout the interview with The Eclipse.

Ehrmantraut’s favorite school subject is geometry.

“It’s just like solving puzzles most of the time,” Ehrmantraut said.

Mr. Rob Markwardt is his favorite teacher.

“He provides a lot of great discussion,” Ehrmantraut said. “He has a great personality, which helps to make the class (AP U.S. History) interesting.”

It also helps that Ehrmantraut loves learning about history.

“It’s an interesting topic if you find true stories compelling,” Ehrmantraut said. “If you enjoy being creative, history is one of the most practical subjects to learn. You can take a lot of inspiration from the past.”

One of Ehrmantraut’s favorite people from his time in elementary school was Mr. John Coleman.

It’s been hard, but I have definitely gotten better. Where I am now has come from years of mental exercise.”

— Matt Ehrmantraut, freshman

“He was an aid who helped me out a lot in the third grade,” Ehrmantraut said. “But he ended up getting a job in another country. I was devastated at the time.”

Since Ehrmantraut was diagnosed with autism at a young age, life has been a difficult struggle for him.

“I’m definitely grateful that my family has been caring,” Ehrmantraut said. “It’s been hard, but I have definitely gotten better. Where I am now has come from years of mental exercise.”

He appreciates his school community for accepting him.

“Kearsley has been very accommodating for the condition,” Ehrmantraut said, smiling.

“They actually called me into a meeting last year before I went into AP U.S. History,” Ehrmantraut said. “They wanted to talk about the whole situation because they just weren’t sure how it would work, (having) a person like me in the harder classes.”

Despite his autism, Ehrmantraut has done well his freshman year.

“Most people with my condition wouldn’t be able to function,” Ehrmantraut said. “I consider myself very lucky.”