FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – ACT Aspire scores have dropped across the board here in Natural State from 2019 to 2021. The Arkansas Department of Education is pointing to remote learning as a potential culprit.
However, this trend doesn’t hold true in every case. William Eiland is a student at Prairie Grove High School with autism. His mom said it’s almost indescribable how proud she is of her son, not only for how far his grades have come while learning remotely but also for the initiative and confidence he’s built while doing so.
“I have seen him grow up so much in the past year and a half. He became a teacher to me, and he said, no, mom, this is how we’re doing this, and he thrived,” said Mandy Eiland.
William said it’s the confidence he’s had all along, but it was a trait that was tough to showcase in a traditional classroom setting.
“I’ve always been thinking someone’s watching me without me knowing. I think I don’t have any anxiety when I’m doing online school,” said William.
But now that he’s able to learn in his own space without having to constantly work through social anxieties, he is crushing school day after day.
“I try to keep it as much like school as I can, but he’s like, mom, I got this. To watch him grow up is just amazing,” said Eiland.
While a lot of what he’s accomplished is driven by pure self-initiative, mom said supportive parents are key to a successful remote learning environment.
“It’s amazing to me that I’m a part of setting him up for his future,” said Eiland.
William plans to continue his remote learning for the coming school year, and he’s excited to see all he can accomplish.