Noah Shaver was diagnosed with Autism at age 4. When he was diagnosed, the common belief was that ages 4-5 were the earliest a child could be safely diagnosed. Because of this, in Noah's most formative years, there was virtually no service to help him cope with the barage of sensory input he received.
Everyday life was a challenge, with all of its smells, sounds, and images. School seemed nearly impossible. From the beginning, Noah was far behind.
Thank God that Noah's mother worked as hard as she did to fight for Noah's diagnosis, physical therapy, and educational opportunities. Besides Autism, Noah is also dyslexic (a disability not recognized in his home state of Georgia). He also had severe dyspraxia (a condition which affects the muscles). He had low tone in his core muscles, his tongue, and his hands. Learning to speak was very difficult (he still speaks with an impediment), and learning to hold a fork or a pencil seemed nearly impossible.
He was projected to never read, write, or speak at 4 years old.
Because of the relentless hard work of Noah's mother, Vangie, and many people (including family, friends, doctors, and teachers) who loved and cared for Noah--and because of Noah's tireless work--Noah is now a sophomore at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, GA. He currently holds a 3.5 GPA and is blowing his teachers away. He can drive a car (just the learner's permit at the moment!) and is planning on going to college after high school, and living on his own as an adult.
This Spring, Noah was invited to the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders event in Boston, MA. This is a "highly selective national honors program" for students who score highly in science, technology, engineering or math. The event is led by the National Academy of Sciences and will be held June 29-July 1 at The University of Massachusetts Lowell in Boston.
It is a great honor to be asked to represent McEachern High School at such an event, and Noah really wants to go! However, at this point in our family's journey, money is a huge impediment. The cost for enrollment is roughly $1000. For Vangie and Noah to get to Boston and back to Atlanta will likely cost around $800. We figure that lodging will also be around $800 and incidentals (food and lost wages from the trip) around $660.
We have a deadline of April 18 to reserve Noah's spot. We are hoping to raise $3245 to make this wonderful opportunity a reality.
Thank you for your love and support of Noah Shaver.
- Lorrie and Dan McNeill
- Romona and Joe Blanton
- Kendra King
- Jonathan Powell
- Scott Bertrand
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