Juliana D, age 8

Photograph by Jo Marie Brown (2023)

Juliana has the perfect amount of sweet and saucy and makes a lasting impression on everyone she meets. She is the girl who will steal your heart!

Juliana’s service-dog-in-training, Rider, is her best friend, and is as saucy as she is. Rider helps Juliana feel more secure and independent in dealing with her multiple diagnoses including autism, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Within the last year, Juliana has had many “firsts”: being on the A honor roll, her first transfer on the bars in gymnastics, and handling a major surgery with a positive attitude. She has a constant drive to keep going, no matter what the situation. She also has an empathetic nature and impeccable manners.

“There is never a dull moment with Julie in our lives” says her mom, Diamond. “She brings so much happiness to our family and helps us realize that life is not all that serious—sometimes you just need to learn to go with the flow.”

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.