Autism school expands in Tampa Bay - WFLA News Channel 8

Autism school expands in Tampa Bay

Posted: Updated:
Joanna Rosario and her son Gabe,6 Joanna Rosario and her son Gabe,6
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Joanna Rosario says she knew something 'wasn't right' with her oldest son, Gabe.

"I kind of knew something was wrong. He wasn't talking," Rosario said. "He was unruly and hard to control."

Doctors diagnosed then 4-year-old Gabe with autism.

"It was scary to get a diagnosis but it was almost a relief to know now we know what's wrong," Rosario said.

Now Rosario's sons are four and six. Both of them go to the Florida Autism Center for Excellence. She says it's the only place they fit in with their peers.

"We get a lot of eye rolls, a lot of stares," Rosario says. "It's difficult taking him out into the community and have some acceptance."

The teachers at the school (FACE) have experience with autistic students. Rosario credits the students and staff for helping her 4-year-old Louis say his first words. The school director Tiffiany Lassin says the school has an extensive wait list.

"A lot of our students come from other schools and they don't get made fun of here," Lassin said. "Normally there's that shyness. In reality they don't want to be left alone but that's what happens because they don't fit in."

FACE is one of four schools in the state for students with autism, but that's changing soon. FACE officials hope to open another school in Pasco in the fall to help cut down on the Tampa site's wait list.

Rosario thinks it's a great idea.

"I completely credit the school for everything," Rosario said. "If it wasn't for this school he wouldn't be talking. He wouldn't be doing half the things he's doing." 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:14:48 GMT
    Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled. Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:02 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:02:32 GMT
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Pinellas commissioners to tour new public safety complex

    Pinellas commissioners to tour new public safety complex

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:30 AM EDT2014-07-31 09:30:41 GMT
    The complex renderingThe complex rendering
    Pinellas County Commissioners will have a VIP tour this morning of the brand new public safety complex.
    Pinellas County Commissioners will have a VIP tour this morning of the brand new public safety complex.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:58 AM EDT2014-07-31 07:58:27 GMT
    Greece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCNGreece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCN
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.