Published: Feb 13, 2013 4:53 PM EST
Updated: Feb 13, 2013 5:03 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- "Hunter has epilepsy and cerebral palsy and the icing on the cake is his autism," said mother Audrey Edwards.

The 15-year-old depends on her for everything, but in the four years he's attended the Goodwill Life Academy she's noticed a change in him.

"He's become more independent. They are teaching him how important it is for him to be a part of taking care of his own needs."

 Edwards says the new, larger school will mean even more opportunities for her son and the other students.

Student Nathan Ravish, "The best thing about school is learning how to get a job."

Students ages 11 to 22 learn vocational skills, lifeskills and academics. This new facility, a former warehouse, doesn't look like much right now, but once the remodeling is complete there will be eight classrooms and 100 students.

Principal Lynn Pottorf said, "We will have more intercom systems and more systems where teachers can speak with one another and we will have more computers and assistance technology for our special need students."

For years, the school has operated out of a much smaller rental building on Palm Beach Boulevard.

The new building offers Edwards a renewed sense of hope for her son's future. "For him to be able to be his own person and think his own thoughts and be accepted in society."