The Roanoker - July/August 2017 - 60
LIVES CHANGED, A LIFE REALIZED
The sudden and dramatic change
of a boy at age 18 months set
into motion a life alteration for
a mother whose days are now
dedicated to advocacy for those
on the autism spectrum.
STORY AND PHOTOS
BY DAN SMITH
60 | JULY/AUGUST 2017
A M Y T R A IL S AYS H E R SON, NOA H , was a
typically developing child until the age of 18 months.
"He went from a child who sang 'Rock-a-bye-Baby'
with me when I rocked him to sleep to a child who
would not let me touch him, who appeared he could
not hear me, who could not look at me nor communicate with me," she says of her son's severe regression,
now more than 10 years ago. "He lost all developmental
skills in communication, cognitive, social, emotional,
behavioral, fine motor and some gross motor-back to
zero- to three-months' development."
Trail's life changed immediately and deeply. At 21
months, her son was diagnosed with Autism: Cata-
strophic Neurological Loss. And the therapy he needed
was either unavailable or far beyond the family's means.
"Noah was already in early intervention when he received his first diagnosis," she says, "and had been receiving speech therapy and occupational therapy in the
home." Her research had revealed that he needed much
more than that. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy was the answer.
But when she contacted her local school district-
Franklin County Public Schools-she was told: "We
don't do that here."
"Scientific peer reviewed research showed that if he
ever had a chance to live a productive life he needed