Avery B, age 16

Photograph by Crysta Dowdy (2023)

Avery is a perfect example that anything is possible. Although as a young child he didn’t use words to communicate and was more withdrawn, Avery is now an outgoing and driven young man. His contagious smile can light up a room. He has made lifelong friendships because he stands up for what he believes is right and continues to push his family and friends to be the best they can be.

Avery has a diagnosis of autism, as well as severe ADHD and an intellectual disability. Fifteen years of therapy have been vital to the success he has achieved, but his ‘go-getter’ attitude was instrumental in helping him reach his goals. This past year, he was an honorary team member of his high school baseball team and is actively working on becoming an official member of the team next year. He will also be a part of the ROTC program and hopes to be on the basketball and football teams next year.

“Our hope is that the world gives him a chance to shine and he maintains his self-motivation,” says his mom, Christie. “We also hope that one day he realizes he doesn’t need to strive to be like everybody else because he is an inspiration to so many just as he is!”

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.