PHOENIX (FOX 10) - When her son faced hurdles at school, an Arizona mom took matters into her own hands moving him from a brick-and-mortar environment to a virtual one. Today her 9-year-old is thriving despite the daily challenges he faces.
At 10:00 a.m. Henry takes math, then there's spelling. His mom helps him with the lesson, but she doesn't teach it.
"It's not home school at all, it's teachers, there are actual online classes there are actual materials that people have," said Stephanie King, Henry's mom.
Henry is a fourth grader at Arizona Virtual Academy, or AZVA, an online public school.
"It's so amazing because I actually never thought I could learn something because learning for me was so hard," said King. "There's a variety of congenital abnormalities that he has had to overcome. When he was one, he was failing to thrive and very weak on the left side of his body, it took a great deal of therapy to get him to age-appropriate levels."
Stephanie King says her son was born missing a chromosome no one else in the world is missing. As a result, he suffered through numerous complications: a hole in his heart, 13 ribs instead of 12, an enlarged horseshoe-shaped kidney, severe allergies to common foods, and color blindness.
Learning at a traditional school was anxiety-inducing, so the decision to enroll at AZVA was made.
"My speech teacher she helps me sound better and I probably would sound really weird right now if it wasn't for her," said Henry.
His speech teacher lives in New Jersey but that doesn't matter when they both log on.
Henry's mom says taking a step back has allowed Henry to move forward.
"The greatest accomplishment and the greatest gift Arizona Virtual Academy has given us is this little boy's confidence in math and reading and writing and spelling," said King.
AZVA is a kindergarten through 12 school.