WEDNESDAY'S CHILD

13-year-old Ryker loves music and Disney movies

Dec 20, 2023, 3:21 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm

ST. GEORGE — Thunder Junction All-Abilities Park in St. George is a safe space for kids of all ages and abilities to play and explore. It’s a place 13-year-old Ryker loves to visit; he loves the teeter-totter, the spinning chairs, and the red rock caves. But, if there is one thing Ryker loves the most, it’s the swings.

“Ryker loves the swings; he could swing all day,” said Karen Burnette, a Youth Connections Advocate with Raise the Future. “He also loves music, he loves to sing, he loves all things Disney and Looney Toons.”

Ryker is a big fan of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and loves to sing along with the music.

“Connecting with him on those levels helps to bring out that personality he has and to meet him where he’s at as far as the things he loves, and then you see the beautiful part of his personality come through,” Burnette said.

Ryker (right) with KSL TV's Shara Park in the park.

Ryker (right) with KSL TV’s Shara Park (left) in the park. (KSL TV)

Ryker is non-verbal and has developmental disabilities. He has a team in place to help him grow and develop.

“He speaks with a device that helps him to communicate in full sentences, but he does repeat back words, and he shows his emotions through his facial expressions, as well as his body language,” Burnette said.

Ryker is Native American and comes from the Navajo tribe. Finding a family that will honor his culture is essential, as is finding a two-parent support system.

“Ryker will need parents that will be very involved with him, that will be able to spend a lot of time with him and be able to be there for him,” Burnette said.

Ryker is looking for a family that will show him patience, consistency, and, most importantly, love.

“He’s a really sweet, loveable kid, and he needs people that are just going to show up for him and be there for him continually,” Burnette said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Wednesday's Child

Boy with dark hair and a cap on...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Leo, 11, hopes to be adopted in a family while keeping strong sibling connections

Wednesday's Child: Leo likes being around people, but the thing he loves the most, and loves to talk about the most, is his family.

11 days ago

Twelve-year-old Kiara loves horse, cooking and trying new food. However, she’s looking for a fami...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 12-year-old Kiara loves horses, enjoys cooking and trying new foods

Twelve-year-old Kiara is looking for a family connection, a caring adult who can provide her with lifelong stability, a family that will love and guide her as she figures out who she wants to be.

26 days ago

If you give 12-year-old Jaxon a baseball bat and an open grass field he’ll waste no time showing ...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 12-year-old Jaxon has a passion for baseball and other sports

If you give 12-year-old Jaxon a baseball bat and an open grass field he’ll waste no time showing you how to hit a baseball like a pro. Baseball is Jaxon’s favorite sport, and it brings him joy when others want to play with him. He also loves basketball and football.

1 month ago

At Bricks and Minifigs in Orem you’ll find Legos of all shapes and sizes, bin after bin full of c...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 14-year-old Michael enjoys Star Wars and Lego bricks

At Bricks and Minifigs in Orem you’ll find Legos of all shapes and sizes, bin after bin full of colorful bricks ready to be played with, and glass cases full of interesting and rare characters. It’s a store 14-year-old Michael loves to spend time in, Michael is obsessed with Lego bricks and Star Wars. 

2 months ago

Fifteen-year-old Phoenix, making cupcakes at So Cupcake in Millcreek....

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: 15-year-old Phoenix loves to write, bake, and aspires to work in childcare

Fifteen-year-old Phoenix is looking for a family that will love her for who she is and will help with her career aspirations.

3 months ago

Noah Wednesday's Child...

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Teen gamer Noah wants to make memories with forever family

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not uncommon to hear shrieking and laughter coming from inside the Redrig mobile gaming trailer. With dozens of games to play, and multiple screens to play on, it’s a space where everyone is welcome.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

13-year-old Ryker loves music and Disney movies