Olive D, age 12

Photograph by Lauren Winchester (2023)

Olive is a unique and vivacious girl who loves to be the center of attention. She likes to shop, hold hands, meet new people, and see new places. Her favorite activities are swimming, swinging, dancing, and singing. She fights conformity and finds joy in celebrating what others may think is mundane.

Olive has a diagnosis of autism and marches to the beat of her own drum. Her mom says, “Olive is happy all of the time and brings so much joy to our home. She reminds us all to see the good in all things, even if it is small or seemingly insignificant. Most importantly, she does not let anyone or anything get in the way of her happiness or of what she wants. I think this determination will serve her well into adulthood.” Through love, structure, and consistency, Olive and her family get through the tough days.

On the verge of becoming a teen, Olive has blossomed into a big, beautiful personality her family never thought they would see. She has surprised her family in many ways, and they love for her to be celebrated in any way possible. She has become a wonderful friend who never forgets a name, and most importantly, has a strong purpose in this world.

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.