photograph by: Anne McQuary (2018)

Judah is a wonderful child who has the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). His parents recognized that he was not developing at an appropriate level early in his life. He was having trouble walking and had little to no verbal communication at his first birthday. They began the long procedure of diagnosing Judah around that time. After multiple tests, he was diagnosed as a child with ASD right around his second birthday. He was still completely non-verbal and struggled to walk. At that point, his parents knew they had to change their lives. Dad was a teacher working on his doctorate in educational administration and Mom was a nurse planning to return to work. Once Judah’s diagnoses became clear, Judah’s mom decided not to return to work and dedicate her life to his many therapies. Judah’s dad dropped his doctoral program and sought information through a graduate degree in special education with an emphasis in autism. They made these decisions because they believed it would benefit Judah a great deal. Now four, Judah has been served by speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and Congaree-Wood’s developmental delay preschool. He is constantly learning. While he is still non-verbal, he is a very happy child. He loves playing with his baby sister and going to the park. He especially loves jumping on the trampoline with his older brother! He has great reciprocal communication, and listens to directions. He has a fantastic personality and a smile that can light up a room. Judah is an absolute treasure. His parents say they would not change a thing about him – including his disability. They know he wouldn’t be who he is without it – a person filled with pure love, happiness and a true curiosity about the world.

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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.

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