“My sports dream is to meet Katie Ledecky!”
Harper, a senior at Kennesaw Mountain High School, is probably best known for 3 things amongst her peers: Harper loves to swim, she loves Christmas, and she asks everyone to “make the face.” She is an outstanding swimmer, who not only loves to swim for her high school, but a year round team as well. Harper is absolutely adored by her teammates and coaches as well as her friends at school. And Harper loves Christmas so much that she doesn’t wait for December to celebrate it. She really dives in and participates all year long by listening to Christmas music and watching her two favorite movies, Santa Buddies and Charlie Brown. Harper’s classmates describe her as nice, funny and extremely social. If she’s not talking, she’s probably on her phone sending silly selfies on snapchat, she loves the filters.
In addition to the typical challenges of being a teenager, Harper lives with Autism. While Harper is generally cheerful and out-going, her Autism affects her social communication and social interactions. Her narrow-range of interests and mild cognitive impairment make it difficult for her to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with peers.
Even with everything she has to deal with on a daily basis, Harper manages to live a happy and fun life. She dreams of meeting her favorite swimmer, Katie Ledecky and maybe getting a private swim lesson from her. Harper says, “I admire her and would love some tips on technique, race strategy, and sticking with swimming even when you want to quit.”