Noah Early a blessing to family, others
Published 4:47 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
At this year’s Helena egg hunt, standing near the amphitheater stage, I was greeted by a young man with a big grin on his face who was carrying a strand of silver Mardi Gras beads.
His infectious personality led me to converse with his father, Morgan Early, who was nearby and willing to share the story of his son, Noah.
As wife Debbie and second son, Aiden, who is 10, both sat patiently waiting until time for the older children’s turn to hunt, Morgan told me he and Noah were just recently watching the Special Books With Special Kids video that the two made together.
Noah Early has Down Syndrome and is presently a student at Linda Nolen Learning Center. He attended Helena schools growing up, but made the choice on his own to stay at LNLC during eighth grade.
“He loved his Special Ed HMS teacher, Mrs. Lorenbaum, and his aide, Michelle. But when Mrs. Lorenbaum took maternity leave, he found that change hard. At LNLC, he is the most verbal of the five students in his class and he gets lots of attention.”
Indeed, dad Morgan said, “It has always amazed me how he gets people to react to him. Even as a 2-year-old when we were dining out, he would just climb up in an empty chair at other tables and win them over.
“I predicted he would either be a politician or a preacher!”
Noah has a tote of stuffed animals and animal books that travel with him, as well as a collection of Fisher Price Little People.
Just recently the LNLC students took a field trip to the zoo that Noah much enjoyed, as he is an animal lover. He now thinks he might like to be a zookeeper one day.
The Mardi Gras beads also travel everywhere with him. During therapy at six months old, his therapist used them to encourage his motor skills, and now he carries a strand until all the color wears off or it breaks, then selects the next strand from the basketful he has at home.
In their online video segment on Special Books With Special Kids, dad Morgan talks about how Noah was very ill last year and they thought they might lose him.
“Noah has blessed my life. He encourages his brother, Aiden. He has taught me more and has made me and Debbie better people.”