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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger helps Wyatt Iles, 8, hang a Christmas ornament on Thursday at the State capitol in Sacramento. (Mediha Fejzagic DiMartino / Staff Photographer)

Updated: 12/10/2009 09:27:19 PM PST
 
SACRAMENTO – Decked out in a pin-stripe suit, cuff links and a tie, 8-year-old Wyatt Iles of Pomona on Thursday helped Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger light the state Capitol’s tree.

“He was pretty fun,” Wyatt said of Schwarzenegger.

Wyatt participated in the 78th annual tree lighting ceremony, which was hosted by Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver.

The Christmas tree was decorated with 7,400 LED lights and 1,940 ornaments created by the clients from state’s 21 regional centers.

Although the tree adorns the west entrance to the State Capitol building, the below-average temperatures pushed organizers to hold the ceremony inside the Rotunda.

Wyatt, who has autism, represented more than 245,000 children and adults served by state’s Department of Developmental Services.

Each year, regional centers in the state take turns nominating a client to participate in the ceremony.

For the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center, the third-grader at Pantera Elementary School was a clear choice.

Wyatt was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 years old. He has become an accomplished youth golfer.

The Regional Center has worked in partnership with his parents to provide services he needs.

Wyatt has been enrolled in general-education classrooms since kindergarten and receives special-education assistance in speech therapy, occupational therapy and social skills counseling.

Read in Full:  http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_13973558?nclick_check=1



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