My son has Tourette syndrome and a mild autism diagnosis. He attended a public school and seemed to be doing okay until 7th grade/middle school. Things went downhill quickly throughout that year with multiple IEP meetings and phone calls. My son just didn’t seem to “fit” into the available resources the school had to offer. The regular class room was too overwhelming for him, special education was too restrictive. No in-between was available. So after informing the public school he would not be back, the big question was, ”Where to now?” So we looked for private schools within a two hour radius of our home and still did not find a suitable solution, not to mention the yearly costs involved.
Then it was on to homeschool. Where to begin? Numerous options, but again seemed not the right fit in our state. At this point, while my stress level was at an all-time high, I just happened to stumble across information for WiloStar 3D Academy and I knew instantly this was the answer. I called Janet Hale, founder of WiloStar and expressed my interest in her school. She explained what was available, I signed my son up immediately and easily. Done deal. Instant relief. Then my husband and I began to worry about our son’s verbal tics with his Tourette Syndrome and if that would pose a problem. My husband called up Janet and she reassured him our son would be able to use typing in chat as a way to communicate. Well, school began, and my son has loved it since day one.
He is in his second year and has made huge strides in his academics, behavior, and self-confidence. In the beginning he had so many tics he couldn’t verbally talk to his class in audio, now he is such a relaxed speaker he is using audio frequently to communicate. He has learned to type, research information on the internet, build 3D virtual worlds for learning, and attends a virtual school in avatar form. WiloStar has a unique approach to educating students-not a one size fits all. Teachers and administrators respond promptly to questions and there is a genuine interest in the students with a relaxed atmosphere. This allows students to be creative in their own way with projects and assignments, and makes learning fun without the pressure. I am able to see what is expected of him, how he is doing, and the results on a daily basis.
There are other students that he has become friends with that have autism too and this has helped him to cope with his own diagnosis. Before it was a secret/denial, now he is cool with it. He has made friends with students from all over the United States and some foreign countries. I highly recommend WiloStar!
Parent of Vince