Giovanna F, age 5

Photograph by Amy Keely (2023)
Giovanna (Gia) is always smiling, and loves nothing more than to make others laugh and smile. She is an encouraging cheerleader for her family and total strangers—she only wants the best for everyone. Her teachers report that Gia is the first to check on a friend who may be upset or have gotten hurt. The kindness and encouragement she shows to her family, peers, and everyone around her is something truly special. Her caring and tender heart is her true gift, and she makes this world a better place.
Gia has a diagnosis of autism. She has a calm demeanor—sweet, gentle, and loving. She prides herself on being a “prankster” and it’s one of her most endearing qualities.
Gia makes her family proud on a daily basis. From trying new foods, to coming up with the coolest creations out of her Magna Tiles, she is constantly doing something amazing. She loves her family fiercely and likes it best when the entire family is together.
Her mom, Maria, says, “Gia has perseverance, resilience, and the ability to see the good in any situation. I wouldn’t change a thing about her. Most people wish they could be a cup half full type of person—but Gia actually is that person!”

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.