In 2016, David Finnegan joined the Bike to the Beach New England Community when he participated in our 4th Annual Bike to the Beach New England Ride, a 100 mile bike ride for autism. Finnegan’s participation in the ride was inspired by his seven year old son, Henry. Henry was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 10 months, and eventually received a diagnosis of autism.
In June 2014, Henry enrolled at Crossroads School in Natick, one of the beneficiaries of the Bike to the Beach New England ride. “Since joining Crossroads, we’ve seen such progress for Henry. He attends to tasks for way longer and we’ve also seen fewer challenging behaviors.”
Crossroads School is an option for children with moderate to severe challenging behaviors that may preclude them from inclusion in public school. Crossroads’ Mission is to provide individualized comprehensive education and related services to students with autism in order to enhance the quality of life and independent functioning so they may achieve their full potential.
“What we liked from the beginning was the staff at Crossroads. You walk in the door and they all have smiles on their faces. They are ready meet any challenge with energy and enthusiasm. They always have a positive outlook, work with you, explain the game plan, how they are going to accomplish it and also help us understand what we need to do at home.” – David Finnegan
With the support of the Crossroads Staff, Henry is finally beginning to communicate, which has been a significant challenge for him. “Having the challenges of both profound deafness and autism, Henry has a very long road in front of him and his mother and I want him to have the best life he can possibly have. While I am not blind to how hard this journey is going to be, I am more optimistic about the possibilities that lie ahead because of all the people at Crossroads.”
“Riding 100 miles may have been crazy, but Crossroads is just an amazing place, if doing this ride can help them – I am on board.” Supporting Crossroads School isn’t just for Finnegan, his wife, Kelli, served as the School’s Parent Advocacy Group Chair for the 2015-2016 school year. “The efforts Crossroads has made with Henry have been just wonderful so we want to do what we can to provide Crossroads with additional resources to work with our son and the other children they work so hard to support,” Finnegan shared in an email to his donors.