The Tindalls


Tayshauna, or “Tay” as her family and friends call her, was born 3 months premature and spent 11 months in the hospital. She made her first little sounds at two years old.

“She took little steps at a time, and she developed into this amazing little girl we have now” said Tay’s mother, Tanisha.

Tay’s feeding tube was the last device to go, and when she turned ten years old she was finally able to venture out of her home. That’s when her family started seeing early signs of autism. She wasn’t socializing, and she wasn’t interacting with anyone.

“It was kind of hard to accept that something was wrong, something was different,” said Tanisha.

Two years ago, Tay started her journey with the Virginia Institute of Autism.

“It was like opening a door in her mind,” said Tanisha. “Her speech, her language – everything turned around.”

At VIA, the Tindalls found a staff that understood and appreciated Tay’s needs.

“It was a big stress relief – it was finally some people who understood what we were going through,” Tanisha said. “As far as my child and what she needed, it wasn’t the same as everybody else, and at VIA they focused on what she needed.”

Tanisha says VIA gave her family the support system they had been searching for.

“Everybody there just takes time with us. Not a lot of people know what we go through as a family of a child with autism,” Tanisha explained.

Now that Tay is able to communicate and interact with her family members, they feel like they’ve gotten to know her better.

“Her personality has just sprouted to the type of person she is,” said Tanisha.

Tanisha thanks VIA for helping Tay come out of her shell and reach milestones her family never imagined possible.

“We’ve seen nothing but positive progress since the day we’ve started at VIA, and it’s continued progress. I know that she’ll do so well, and it’s a support system where I know they’ve got our backs,” said Tanisha.

Tanisha says after two years of constant improvement, she can’t wait to see what the future holds for Tay.

“There have been lots of ups and lots of downs but overall we’re so glad Tayshauna is our daughter,” said Tanisha.