Strongsville teen living with autism, ADHD wins regional spelling bee in Cleveland

Originally published on WOIO-TV– May 9, 2018

National Autism Awareness month just wrapped up, but a Strongsville teen is still proving to all of us that disabilities don’t have to hold you back.

Fifteen-year-old Neil Stasek has autism and ADHD, but that didn’t stop him from winning the regional spelling bee in Cleveland recently.

“It meant so much because up to that point, he had never won something like that, in any setting. So that was yet another accomplishment that he won all because of this online school,” said Kristina Stasek, Neil’s mom.

Neil is a seventh-grader at the Ohio Virtual Academy, an online public school.

Neil’s mom says the traditional brick and mortar school setting wasn’t working for her son. She says she noticed an amazing transformation in Neil after he started going to the Ohio Virtual Academy.

It’s not just the online school’s academics that helped Neil; his mom says it’s been the social opportunities that the school offers that have helped him too. That’s what she says other parents should look for in an online school.

“He does get to meet these other families and these other kids,” added Stasek.

Neil participates in activities like bowling and roller skating with the other online students.

After winning the spelling bee, an email announcing that Neil had also just been accepted into the Ohio Virtual Academy National Honor Society Chapter arrived.

Neil is proof that finding the right educational fit is everything and that disabilities don’t have to limit you.

For more information about Ohio Virtual Academy, visit:

Featured Articles