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Exceeding expectations: Copperas Cove ISD student defying the odds

Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 08:34:10-04

Many individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder can struggle with expressing themselves and reading comprehension. However, with a strong support system, almost anything is possible.

Briana Garza is the mother of 10-year-old Alex Garza. Mrs. Garza said when Alex was a young child she noticed some developmental delays.

"He had a little bit of a delay he wasn't walking he wasn't talking. It was very hard to tell what he was saying because he would mumble it," said Mrs. Garza.

With the help of students, teachers and staff at Clements/Parsons Elementary School in Copperas Cove ISD, Alex is exceeding expectations.

Garza said, "He’s starting to read, My baby did not do that before. He’s not quiet anymore he talks and talks and talks. He’ll tell you stories and stories and you’re like 'Oh my gosh what is this!"

Garza said Alex has an incredible support system, including his longtime teacher Ashley Anderson. Anderson is a special education teacher at Clements/Parsons Elementary. She has been working with Alex for the past three years. Anderson said they have been focusing on sounds.

"I’ll give him 'A' and he’ll say 'A, apple, at' to remind himself which is totally fine," Anderson said.

She has also been preparing Alex to transition into some general education classes, but she's not taking any of the credit.

Anderson said, "Any progress he’s made that’s all him you know he uses what skills he has to make the progress and to do the things he needs to do honestly I’m just here to facilitate."

While working with Anderson Alex also spends time in class with Carol Boes, a math and science teacher at Clements/Parsons Elementary.

"It’s really great to see how he’s communicating more with me and how he’s talking more with other kids the kids love being around him they just get so excited when he comes," said Boes.

Anderson said, "He's come such a long way with everything. It's just really amazing to watch. Watching him blossom into the child he used today has been phenomenal and it is the best part of my job."

"The staff here and these teachers have made him who he is today," said Garza.