Shelton teen with special needs gets scholarship to school

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A Shelton teen with special needs will attend a therapeutic boarding school in Connecticut thanks to a scholarship and two local nonprofits.

Jack Bernstein will attend classes at the The Glenholme School in Washington, Connecticut, beginning Monday, his stepfather says. 

His stepfather Dan Bernstein says he could no longer afford to privately teach Jack after he was improperly classified by the public school system and labeled a child with an intellectual disability. Dan says his Jack actually has autism.

Dan previously lost a court battle to make the district pay for a private education and tried unsuccessfully to generate the funds using a crowdfunding site.

When News 12 told Sen. Richard Blumenthal about the situation, he contacted Joe Kaliko at the Needs Clearing House, who worked with Amy's Angels to raise $15,000. The rest of the tuition was covered by a scholarship.

"I'm passionate about the issue because you know what, if nothing was done, he would have grown up without skills and wouldn't have been able to survive in the world, wouldn't have been able to make it," says Dan Bernstein.

Dan says Jack was abused by his biological father and that his mother died in 2011. Dan says he has been caring for Jack as a single stepfather since the teen's mother died. 

The Glenholme School is a therapeutic school that serves students with social, emotional and academic needs. 

"It's surreal, I'm walking on a cloud," says Dan Bernstein. "The whole ambiance of the house has changed. It's gone from a situation of desperation to a victory."

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