FAIRFAX, Va. — A little boy doctors said would never speak has now changed the world.
Conner Cummings of Fairfax was born with autism. But neither he nor his mom let that hold him back.
The day before Conner Cummings turned 27 this week, he surprised his mom Sharon with a gift he wrote.
He announced he had a list of 26 reasons why he loves his mom, and started reading them aloud.
"Because mom believes in me. And she is the most wonderful person in the world," said Conner as he read his list. "I wanted to give her reasons why I love my mom so much."
Conner has blown away doctor's predictions. He was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and he still wasn't speaking at age four.
Doctors told Sharon her son would never speak, read or write.
"I didn't accept that, they kept telling me I was being I realistic and that I needed to accept what their diagnosis was," his mom said.
At age seven, Conner suddenly started speaking in complete sentences and he's never stopped. In fact, he's spoken on Capital Hill twice, both times wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
He said they make him feel comfortable and confident. He wears them all the time and has about 50 pairs for all the visits he's made to Disney.
It's no surprise his favorite word is 'believe." It was Conner and Sharon's guiding motivation when they got Conner's Law passed in Virginia in 2015.
Conner's Law is similar to child support laws, but its targeted to help adult children with disabilities. It requires adults to continue financially support those adult children.
Because of his advocacy for the law, Conner was awarded the national Autism Advocate of the Year.
"Thank you so much for this honor. I promise you I will wear this title proud," he said in his speech. "I will do all I can to make a difference."
Conner and Sharon's next goal is get that same law passed in other states, so children born with autism will continue to receive parental support after they become adults.
Amazing goals and accomplishments from a young man who wasn't supposed to do any of this.
"So, he proved them all wrong on everything," Sharon said. "And he's amazed me with everything that he can do.
Another thing Conner is known for, giving really big hugs.