Black and white photo of a teenage male sitting on a bridge and smiling

Avery Bland, age 18

Photograph by Kortney Wilson (2024)

Avery is a social teenager who makes friends with anyone he meets. It does not matter if the interaction is five seconds or an hour, he will make a friend. Avery enjoys watching and listening to baseball, especially surrounded by family at a RiverDogs baseball game. One day, Avery hopes to be a professional baseball player.
Avery was diagnosed at-risk for autism at a year old with an official diagnosis at four years old. His family credits the vast number of therapists and doctors for the progress and milestones Avery has reached.
Avery’s mom, Christie, also shares: “Family Connection has touched our lives by recognizing that we have many things in common with families similar to ours. We were delighted to participate in the LOOK! exhibit last year. Avery still treasures the book which includes his picture and story. He even has taken it to school numerous times.”

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.