Student with Special Needs on Path to Success with Unique Career-Readiness Skills
My son Cade has had the unique opportunity to work at a local bakery for his final senior project. As he looks ahead to the future, I am happy my son has found the right fit for his education needs—but the journey to find the right school wasn’t easy.
Cade was initially enrolled at a traditional brick-and-mortar school, but his challenges with his speech and social skills had me concerned for his learning progress. And with the large class sizes at brick-and-mortar school, I was worried that the resources for students with special needs would be spread too thin—and that his path to graduation would be delayed.
That was when I discovered Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA). As a public school, IDVA provides Cade with the same accommodations he would get at any school, but the individual support from his teachers is a lot more attentive. As his mother, I really appreciate the teachers’ attentiveness to Cade, and I’ve noticed a real difference in his learning comprehension. Cade completed a final project for his senior year that requires him to show what he’s learned, and take on a new set of skills.
The opportunity presented itself rather unexpectedly. A bakery opened in our area that was dedicated to providing work opportunities to those in our community with special needs. The owner has two children with special needs, and she started this program when she saw a need to provide people like Cade with opportunities for career development.
On opening day, I was talking with the owner of the bakery, when Cade popped in to see who I was talking to. The owner saw Cade and instantly asked him, “Would you like to make cake pops with me in the kitchen?” Cade nodded enthusiastically, and the rest is history.
Cade has enjoyed every moment of working at the bakery, and it has become more than just a job for him.
At the bakery, Cade is learning something new everyday. He works directly with the public by interacting with customers behind the counter, improving his communication skills, and he is learning about food handling and baking techniques.
I am so proud of all that Cade has learned at IDVA and at the bakery. When you have a child with special needs, you don't know what their future holds. To find the warmth and genuine care that we have found for Cade in school and in our community is truly inspiring.
To learn more about Idaho Virtual Academy, visit https://idva.k12.com/
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