Charles Richardson grew up in Brooklyn, New York, with his parents and sister, but he moved to Burlington, North Carolina, in 2012 when he was 15 years old. Throughout his life he was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder and delayed learning disability, but nothing ever felt right with his mom, Yvonne Whitley. It wasn't until he transferred to Southern High School in Graham, North Carolina, she said, that he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism.
Charles and his mom don't let his diagnosis stop him from doing what he loves.
Each week, Charles attends four practices held by the Special Olympics of Alamance County made for children and adults diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. According to his mom, Charles can always be found dancing to himself bringing light and energy to those around him. "The goal is just to give him the best life possible," Yvonne said.