Special Needs

FLVS Joins St. Jude’s Walk for Children

By on September 8th, 2016

st-jude-walkAt FLVS, our teachers and support staff make up the heart and soul of our organization. All of our efforts are centered on the lives of the individual students we serve.

This month, one of our staff members and his daughter (a student at FLVS) are especially representative of this mission as we join the statewide 5k Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mike Smith, FLVS Peer Counseling and Critical Thinking Skills teacher, says that his family has been a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than 25 years. His cousin (who happens to be getting married the same day as the walk this year) was treated and cured there in the early 1990s. Now, Mike’s family is once again part of the St. Jude mission to cure all children stricken with cancer.  Continue reading

Legislation Opens New Opportunities

By on May 4th, 2016

2016 Education LegislationIf you’re like me, you follow education policy closely.

Even if you don’t, it was pretty hard to miss the emphasis put on education this past session here in Florida.

You’ve probably at least heard about “House Bill 7029 – Education” in the news and know that it was pretty big. It addresses areas like athletic eligibility, parent and student rights, the option to attend any public school in the state (given that there is space), and so much more.

That last one, attending any public school, really opens up school choice. Luckily, children all over Florida already have the option to enroll in Florida Virtual School. That’s one of the many perks of being virtual – meeting the student where they are. Continue reading

A Puzzling Dilemma

By on April 25th, 2016

autism awareness monthApril is Autism Awareness Month, so I decided to do some reading and brush up on the subject of autism.

In doing so, I came across a surprising blog post about the negative connotation of the puzzle pieces that represent autism in the Autism Society’s ribbon logo, which is now widely used to create awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The post called my attention for two reasons. First, I had no idea that the puzzle ribbon was so controversial, and second, it was written by an autistic person – so naturally I was interested in reading about her particular point of view. In her blog, Alex says that the puzzle implies that autistic people need to be figured out, fixed, or completed as if parts of them were missing. Continue reading

Standards, Grittiness, and the Underdog

By on March 27th, 2014

resilienceIn his book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” Malcolm Gladwell  argues that the people we traditionally considered to be underdogs might actually have unique  advantages created by the very adversity they had to overcome. Gladwell uses the allegory of David  and Goliath to dramatize how David’s victory may not have been as unlikely or extraordinary as we are led to believe.  Perhaps, David relied simply on an unconventional approach and his own audacity to blindside Goliath.  His experience as an underdog forced him to view the situation differently and discover a creative solution to his problem.  David didn’t view Goliath simply as an indestructible giant. Rather, he saw a slow opponent, dragged down by his armor, and unprepared to battle a swifter, more prepared adversary.

Gladwell continues his theory by describing a seeming disadvantage, dyslexia, as a “desirable difficulty.”  Continue reading