The Young and the Breathless
The Young and the Breathless dedicates our team this year, to Noah.
Noah was one of the first students I met at VIA. He was sitting in a corner quietly reading a book about penguins and eating a bowl of cheerios. I started asking him about the penguins and talking about where they lived. Before I knew it, I was on the ground with him, quietly looking at books. While we were talking an instructor asked him to "eat with his spoon" which he did obediently. Little did I know what a magnificent feat this was for Noah.
When Noah came to VIA he would hold nothing in his hands. He threw books, ipads, food, utensils.
VIA's staff incrementally worked with him, holding his hands in theirs to, say, keep a spoon in his hand. They would start with him holding the spoon for a second, and gradually increase the time, until they could work with him to put the spoon in his mouth, and then with food on it, and on and on and on. Until, fast-forward two years, to Noah pointing to pictures of penguins and eating cereal autonomously with a spoon. He has made great strides at VIA. Now, each day, he enjoys hugs, dancing, and singing—he even makes up words for his songs.
And yet, Noah's condition affects his pre-frontal cortex, and it’s unlikely he will hold a job, or live independently. VIA has worked with him to make his symptoms more manageable, but we can't take them away.
I'm asking for donations during autism awareness month to support kids like Noah, kids who will benefit from VIA’s support for their lifetime. Please join me today to support VIA as we grow to meet Noah's needs and help him achieve a lifetime of community engagement.
Thank you, so very much, for considering a gift to VIA and Noah this year.