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Florida Cyber Charter Academy (FLCCA) third-grader Donnie Deyton is a lot like other kids his age. The nine-year-old is artistic, creative and kind. He enjoys spending time with his family, and making animated movies for his YouTube channel and creating art for his friends. However, Donnie was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which can make succeeding in a traditional brick-and-mortar school a challenge.

Donnie was born in North Carolina, where he attended a very small school until his family moved to Florida at the start of second grade. Arriving at a much larger school in a new city, Donnie’s ASD-related anxiety and other symptoms became distressing. “He was turning in on himself,” said Alaina Bodford, Donnie’s mother.

As a parent, the most important thing is your child’s education. Elementary school is the time to learn, grow and have fun with new experiences. Whether it is interacting with classmates or teachers or just learning new skills and discovering new interests, it is what shapes and prepares a person for the future. After watching her son struggle, Alaina decided to enroll Donnie in FLCCA for second grade to ease the transition to a new city, and to bring fun back into his education. It was a decision that paid off.

“Our lives have completely changed thanks to FLCCA,” says Alaina. With new confidence, Donnie is now thriving and able to reach his full potential, especially with the help of his teachers. “Mrs. Churchill changed everything for us, especially in managing Donnie’s meltdowns from anxiety,” said Alaina. “She made Donnie feel so comfortable and confident, in himself and his abilities.”

Now in his second year at FLCCA, Donnie is eager to raise his hand and participate in class sessions, and gets along with his caring and supportive classmates. “FLCCA supports us every day,” says Alaina. “They want my child to succeed, just as much as I do. FLCCA goes above and beyond for each one of their students.”

Donnie and his family receive ample amount of support, Alaina says, so she as a parent can have peace of mind knowing that Donnie’s needs come first. Knowing that Donnie is receiving an excellent education keeps Alaina at ease and hopeful for the future, and she loves being able to be right there with him, helping along the way if he struggles.

“At FLCCA you are a part of your child’s journey. You get to see them grow, learn, discover, and succeed,” Alaina said.

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