The opening of a new charter school in Anderson, South Carolina has helped the growth of a student with Asperger’s syndrome.
Devon Haist, 17, was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2010. Before that, his mother said that he often had trouble socializing in school. Haist went to a public middle school. After having panic attacks from crowding and loud bells, his parents decided to transfer him to an online school. Later, they tried a private school.
Cindy Haist, Devon’s mother, said that he always had a rough time in public school. In 2011, Anderson School District 5 decided to open a charter school. Cindy felt this would be be beneficial to her son.
Once he began attending the charter school, Devon found his place. He is able to take classes in machine technology and robotics. Devon is also able to participate in a dual enrollment program at Tri-County Technical College. He will be graduating next year with an Associate’s Degree as well as a certification in basic electronics. Devon hopes to follow his father and grandfather’s footsteps and go into engineering.
Cindy Haist says that from this program, Devon has learned to use eye contact and shake hands while interacting with other people. He has also learned to handle himself better.
Devon has also received other therapies to help cope with his Asperger’s symptoms. He saw a therapist for a while who helped him with anxiety and recognizing social cues. He has also completed 45 treatments of transcranial magnetic stimulation to help improve his socialization.
Cindy Haist says that everyone has seen an improvement, not only because of his treatment, but also because of a better school education.
Written By Sejal Sheth