By Jason Messick on December 20, 2023
Gastonia, NC – The nurturing environment at Gastonia Freedom School empowers homeschool students with autism, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities, helping them unlock their full potential.
Crystal Farmer is the program director of Gastonia Freedom School, which diﬀers from a typical school. It’s a remarkable resource center dedicated to students with autism, ADHD and intellectual disabilities. They cater to homeschool and public school students with disabilities, going beyond academics. They teach students essential life skills and empower them with social skills.
We sat down with Crystal for a quick interview.
What sets Gastonia Freedom School apart?
“You know what we’re tackling? The notion is that every kid can excel or even thrive in public school. Reality check—most kids just don’t fit the mold of the mass production factory system we’ve got going on.
“But here’s where we come in. We’re not just solving this problem; we’re allowing students to uncover who they are, explore their passions and ditch the predetermined path. It’s all about forging their unique journey.”
Why do you do what you do?
“It’s all about the children creating a safe, enjoyable, and enriching environment for their development. We understand that many of our families rely on dual-working parents, which unfortunately takes away valuable time needed for their child’s growth. That’s where we step in, oﬀering the essential learning and personal development support that traditional schools may not provide.”
How did you get the idea for your business?
“My daughter is autistic, and I initially planned on sending her to a regular public school. However, as I became aware of her unique needs, I couldn’t help but doubt it would fit her.
“That’s when we discovered the Agile Learning Centers Network and stumbled upon ALC Mosaic, an Agile Learning Center in Charlotte. It’s like our sibling school, you know! So, I decided to give it a shot and enrolled my daughter there for two years. Boy, was I amazed to see how wonderfully liberated and supported she was! The teachers understood her needs and allowed her to learn and grow independently without pressure or judgment. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the rigid expectations of traditional schools!
“Witnessing the incredible support she received, I realized that there must be many other neurodivergent kids out there who could benefit from this kind of nurturing environment. That’s when it hit us that we need more places for these amazing kids to grow and learn.”
What is the most signiﬁcant event that ever happened to you?
“One of the most fascinating things, and trust me, there are many, was when I, after taking a deep dive into the topic of autism, got diagnosed at the ripe age of 33. It was a mind-blowing moment, like bam! Suddenly, it all made sense.
“Looking back at my life, I realized there were times when I messed up, and now I have an explanation! I must’ve been showing symptoms all the way but lacked the support or even the knowledge to understand it. Talk about a game-changer! This whole experience opened my eyes and ignited a burning desire to help people, whether they have a diagnosis or suspect they might. No one should feel like a failure or just “oﬀ” in any way. We all deserve support and understanding. So, here I am, ready to lend a helping hand and make a diﬀerence!”
Please share one tip with the readers for choosing an educational service for their particular needs child.
“Teachers who possess a deep understanding of autism, ADHD and various diagnoses, along with their knowledge of tailored therapies and accommodations, play a vital role. Additionally, creating a sensory-friendly environment is crucial for neurodivergent children. Subduing excessive stimuli, such as loud noises and bright lights, is significant.
“Moreover, it’s essential to establish a safe space where children feel valued and accepted, free from constant judgment. In traditional schools, where children may receive poor grades, our priority is to foster an environment where hard work is recognized and eﬀort is valued, regardless of the activity undertaken.”
Attention parents of children with ADHD or other special needs! Your search ends here. Welcome to the Gastonia Freedom School, where your child’s growth takes center stage.
Gastonia Freedom School 208 N Pryor St
Gastonia, NC 28052
By Taurice Collins Sep 1, 2021
For the past 14 years, Denise Maffia, a native New Yorker has been committed to providing her services at Pilates Physique Studio in Cornelius, North Carolina. Denise is a business graduate from upstate New York’s, SUNY College at Buffalo with broad classical and contemporary dance training as her passion. Inspired to learn more about the […]
By Michael Sullivan Jul 20, 2023
Foxcroft, PA – For the past 10 years Auguste Jacques and his 3BP Inc. team have been developing a patented product technology that protects consumers worldwide. “What makes us different is that the technology of our product has been developed to be more trustworthy and superior to current packaging options that are available,” says Auguste. […]