The Roanoker - July/August 2017 - 61
EDUCATION | AUTISM SPECTRUM
intensive ABA Therapy
in the amount of 30-40
hours a week, due to the
nature and severity of his
autism," she says. "At that
time in 2007 it was about
$30,000 per year and I
knew we could not afford
that out of pocket."
She began receiving
training to provide help to
her son the best she could.
"I would provide therapy all day long and his
father was working to
keep a roof over our heads
and feed us. During the
day and at night we both
took turns reading Individuals with Disabilities
Act (IDEA) of 2004
looking to learn how to
use the law to help our
The additional steps
and tribulations over the years since include Noah becoming the first child in his district to receive ABA therapy, Trail and her son moving away from the rest of the
family to an appartment to enter the Blue Ridge Autism
and Achievement Center (BRAAC), and much more.
But the results have been significant.
"Noah is now a different child," his mother says. "He
is a fabulous non-verbal child who communicates with
sign language, a communication device, and through
just about every way he can get his point across. He
is reading, doing addition, telling time and counting
money. He has learned how to grocery shop for himself
with a list and is preparing his own lunches at school."
But Trail's efforts-helping build a life for her son
that is "100 percent better because he is dialed into
our world now due to having this high level and
intensity of services"-did not stop with her
efforts for Noah. Today, she lives a life
built around helping not only her
own son, but also others on the
She does subcontract
work for Advocating
4 Kids, a nonprofit
organization providing advocacy services in
the public schools, and is
also a board memeber of the group.
She also has her own group, FACES (Families of
Autism Community Enrichment Services) where she
provides many services including training for parents
and organizations including some doctors at Carilion.
"FACES is currently setting up an office here in
Roanoke," she says, "where it will have a parent resource center and a training center, including advocacy
services in the school and the community."
Amy Trail encourages contact from any who might
benefit from her help: FACES.firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Trail works together
with her son, Noah, and
other BRAAC students.
A U T I S M S P E A K S . O R G D E F I N E S the disor-
der as "a broad range of conditions characterized by
challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors,
speech and nonverbal communication, as well as
by unique strengths and differences. Autism
Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by social-interaction difficulties,
communication challenges and a
tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors."
that there are multiple levels of autism,
with her own son being
severe, but others functionJULY/AUGUST 2017 | 61