Elijah F, age 4

Photograph by Morgan Barker (2023)
Elijah is a sweet, kind, and inquisitive little boy with an infectious laugh. He is very observant of his environment and finds joy in identifying numbers on signs and price tags. You will often find him tucking in his classmates during nap time to make sure they sleep well. He loves swimming, watching water slides videos, and building marble race tracks.
Elijah has a diagnosis of autism. Starting off nonverbal, Elijah is now able to have peer-to-peer interactions and is working on initiating play with others. Recently, Elijah graduated from his 4K program. He started as a half-day student in a special education classroom. Later, Elijah stayed all day and was moved to a gen-ed classroom. By year end, he was a full-day student and is academically on grade level. Watch out kindergarten, Elijah is coming!

Elijah’s parents want the world to know he is exactly who he should be. His mom says, “He isn’t broken and isn’t defined by his diagnosis. We heard a lot of ‘cannot, will not, or will never’. As a parent that is hard to hear. I simply say, ‘yet.’ He is amazing and his story is no different. We are so proud of him and proud to be his parents!”

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.