photograph by: John Lowry (2019)

Like the fabled and majestic unicorn that is her favorite animal, “Maddy” is truly unique. From exploring the playground with her friends to carelessly dancing along to the upbeat melodies and empowering lyrics from Pop Star Meghan Trainor, Maddy isn’t afraid to forge her own life path.

This legendary 10-year-old thrives off of pancakes, her cherished stuffed
animals, and music. In fact, the only person who manages to top superstar
Meghan Trainor in Maddy’s eyes is her older brother, Alex. She treasures
each moment spent with her brother and role-model, creating unforgettable memories between the two of them. Living with MBD5 – Associated Neurodevelopmental Disorder (MAND), 2q23.1
microdeletion syndrome – a rare genetic condition caused by a missing part of one of the body’s 46 chromosomes- and autism, Maddy has never let anything stop her from accomplishing her dreams. While Maddy doesn’t have formal speech, she still has a lot to say. To ensure that she is heard, she finds her own unique ways to communicate. One of these ways is through learning a picture exchange communication program to promote functional language.

Maddy’s family said, “Life is a journey, not a race,” and Maddy continues to
prove that with determination and persistence anything is possible!

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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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