Trent Stroup is a man of action. Two years ago, when the Towson-area father of three saw that his then 7-year-old daughter Addie was regressing significantly in the community public school she attended, he didn’t waste any time acting.
Addie, diagnosed with the rare brain disorder Aicardi syndrome before she was a year old, has epilepsy and autism. A switch in schools between kindergarten and first grade resulted in a serious downward spiral, according to her father. She lost many skills she had previously acquired, such as writing her name, and she strongly resisted attending school.
Stroup said his pleas to the school initially went unheeded.
Using his technology background — he is director of information systems for Johns Hopkins Development and Alumni Relations — Stroup began documenting his daughter’s regression with spreadsheets. It wasn’t until he enlisted the professional support of an educational advocate, who reiterated to the school what Stroup had been attempting to convey, that administrators agreed Addie needed to be moved to a school that could better accommodate her needs.
“They finally said they’d place her anywhere you want,” Stroup said.