Paige dedicates her puzzle piece to…..
John Kenneth Garza
I first met John when Tara Laging opened Horizons Pediatric Therapy and he became our clinic assistant. John worked 3 days a week at the clinic doing a lot of tasks to help us stay organized and keep the clinic looking nice.
Over the last 3 years John has become very special to my family. My kids love and adore him and he is always at the top of the invite list for our birthday parties. Even though the clinic has closed we still spend time with John. Sometimes he joins my family for lunch, goes with us to run errands, or he just hangs out with us. John is sweet, loyal, and has become very protective of my son when we’re together. John is the epitome of loving life. He truly enjoys all tasks no matter how big or small. Whether it’s walking his dogs, working at Vela Farms, helping with horses at the Laging’s house, or seeing movies and musicals, John finds joy!
John stopped talking right before the age of two and during ages two to five he was diagnosed with a speech delay. He was in the school system from age three and received speech help but his autism diagnosis didn’t come until around the age of five and half. By the age of six, his family was introduced to the Riding Therapy Center where John really took to the horses. He was not communicating verbally when he started, but after a short time he was beginning to speak. John attended weekly for about five to six years. His Mom, Ruby, personally credits the facility for the progress he gained with his speech. Ruby placed him in piano lessons around the age of ten which he enjoyed and attended for the next three years.
From sixth to ninth grade, John was a member of the school band and learned to play the trumpet. John also became a football trainer which he continued to do until graduation. As part of his high school experience, John escorted a young lady to the prom. After graduation, John attended Victoria College for a short time. John’s mother, Ruby shared with me “She didn’t know when he was younger if he would ever be able to share in these types of life experiences and I am so incredibly proud of him!”
When I was asked to be part of this board of trustees immediately my reason for getting involved was John. John’s amazing story is a driving force for me as a volunteer to continue helping families in the Crossroads area. I am truly thankful and honored to be part of this generous community and look forward to what the future holds for Crossroads Autism Network.