Ryan Jr was the miracle child for the 2018 Mr. East Valley Pageant, helping to bring disability awareness and understanding to others. Jr is 5 and was diagnosed on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s syndrome. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects an individual’s social skills, behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. He attends East Valley developmental preschool and his favorite things are Magic School Bus, Play-Doh and Legos!
After Jr was diagnosed the family attended the Holland group at Children’s Village, which is an eight-week program for parents with a child who has been diagnosed with any kind of disability. This group was very helpful for the family to receive the support they needed as they were going through the process of understanding and accepting Jr’s diagnosis.
Jr’s , mom said, “We’ve found that Children’s Village is a great place and has a variety of services all under one roof. If you ask Jr it’s the ‘fun house’! If it weren’t for Children’s Village, we would have been forced to seek services out of town, which would have added more of a financial burden to the already costly care. Children’s Village is truly a blessing for our family and for our community.”