In 2011, Erik Halvorson presented Governor Gregoire one of his famous hand-made lanyards on a special visit to Children’s Village.
Erik is an entrepreneur with a big heart. For years, he has beaded and sold lanyards. At age 13, Erik used his earnings to purchase Christmas gifts for children attending the Holiday Festival at Children’s Village. Each year Erik shopped for the perfect gift for each child with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or other disability. Erik was one of the first clients at Children’s Village and experiences autism himself. His amazing gifts are his love and acceptance of others and his ability to step out of his comfort zone to make an impact on so many children.
Erik has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, and has utilized cardiology, genetics, endocrinology, nutrition, speech therapy, occupational therapy, family swim, gastroenterology, social skills classes and dental services at Children’s Village.
Today, Erik still has special healthcare needs, but has almost completed his degree in Applied Science from Yakima Valley College and has a part time job in a medical office. He feels more confident and comfortable in his own skin. Erik’s needs were met over the last 20 years at Children’s Village, helping him to grow into a very caring young man. A true success—from Children’s Village to college student.