young girl plays on a playground

Parker McKenna, age 2

Photograph by Kris Copeland (2021)

Parker McKenna’s love language is music. She listens intently when someone sings to her, and she even tries to help sing a few songs herself. She also stops to dance when she is out and about and hears music. It is in her soul.
Parker has a love of reading books. She knows some of her stories so well that she can act out what is happening or name what she sees as she flips through the pages. She handles books with gentleness and the true affection of a much older child.

Parker attends physical, occupational and speech therapies each week and works hard to learn new skills. She also meets with her early interventionist twice a month. She handles her busy schedule and all the learning experiences thrown at her with grace.

Parker’s grit and determination inspires her family. “Seeing her learn to roll over, crawl, walk, speak, complete a puzzle, dance in circles, turn pages of a book–all of these would have been easy milestones to take for granted if Parker did not have her extra chromosome” says her mom, Elizabeth.

“We are so proud of Parker and want to share her light with others. Her middle name is Joy. It is perfect for her because it reflects her playful, loving nature. Her energy and vivacious personality permeate whatever room she is in.”

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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