Jacob W, age 12

Photograph by Emily Barnes (2023)
Jacob is a class clown who loves making others laugh. Not concerned with what others think of him, Jacob is unapologetically himself and doesn’t fit any mold. He always finds a reason to smile and laugh. He has an amazing memory, learning how to do something after being shown only one time. He is learning to be independent while keeping his goofy personality and his love of play.
Jacob was diagnosed with autism at 21 months and didn’t speak until he was four years old. His family is extremely thankful to have so many resources over the past 10 years including behavioral therapy, speech, occupational therapy, and other services that have helped Jacob reach his full potential. Jacob continues to surprise his family with his determination and growing self-reliance.
Jacob loves to go on road trips and being with friends and family. He likes riding his bike, skateboarding, and going to the pool or beach.   

Jacob’s mom Sharon believes his uniqueness and pure heart should be celebrated. “Jacob is more than a disability; he is more than autism” she says. “He has a huge personality with many layers and much love to give. He is a special individual, and I’ve never come across another like him.”

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.