Deklan Boyd, age 10

Photograph by Michele Coleman (2021)

Someone recently referred to Deklan as “shiny”, and his parents say that is the most accurate word to describe him—because he brings so much joy to others around him.

Although he looks just like any other child of his age, Deklan has severe autism and very little functional language; his communication is 99% scripted, and that is challenging. His parents hope being a part of the LOOK! will bring awareness that not all disabilities are visible to the eye.

Deklan does have the ability to sing and has an interesting gift—he can hear a song one time and be able to sing it—in the singer’s voice. It is a constant source of amazement and delight to others. His wonderful, eclectic taste includes The Beach Boys, The Platters, BB King, Metallica, and Pink Floyd.
A very proud moment was when he sang with his classmates in an auditorium with more than 200 people in the audience. His teachers and family were crying at his accomplishment. It was an extraordinary day for him.

Deklan is happiest when he gets to “go to the waves”. He swims better than any lifeguard, and participates in adaptive surfing, which he loves. His parents say he is a happy, athletic, kind, empathetic, funny, talented, brilliant…the words to describe him are endless.

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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