Photograph by Alyssa Lewis (2018)

Cortland is a vibrant three year old who is on the Autism Spectrum. Just before his second birthday, he began to show regression, losing the little vocabulary he had at the time. His trust in others was tested. In August 2016, he started school at Chesterbrook Academy. During the first few months of school, Cortland kept to himself and was nonverbal. Concerned, his mother pushed for testing and secured early intervention and therapy services. Cortland remained in school at Chesterbrook and saw significant progress due to the services he was receiving. However, in August 2017, Cortland endured a traumatic experience at the hands of people he had grown to trust and love. Since then, Cortland has continued to defy every obstacle in his path. Diagnosed in October of 2017 with Autism Spectrum Disorder with a moderate level of severity and high functioning abilities, Cortland has quickly broken barriers they thought would take years. Currently homeschooled, he receives occupational and speech therapies as well as early intervention. He has become an avid artist and loves playing his keyboard, drawing, singing, writing, painting, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang, taking apart electronics, trips to Wal-Mart, jumping on his trampoline, and playing with his cousins and friends. In recent months, he has become more social and interacts with other children. He will be a member of the 2018 Screaming Eagles Special Needs Athletics Soccer Team. His mother hopes he continues to grow and defy every obstacle while spreading autism awareness and teaching love, understanding and acceptance.

On display at:

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

Sign up for our newsletter!