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Teodoro Loves ILLC By Rica Bolipata-Santos

Teodoro began school quite early, just a few days after he turned 2 years old. We had not intended to put him to school early but we thought that his lack of verbal skills and play skills was because we were boring parents. This isn’t a joke, funnily enough. It was a summer class, and like a story all familiar to you, the School Director put me aside on the last day of class to let me know that she thought it best if I had Teodoro checked for developmental delay. “Early intervention is key, Mommy,” she seriously intoned to me. So Teodoro, or Teej, as he is fondly called, was placed in the school system and began therapy right away. Even from the get-go, he never “succeeded” in school, or in therapy. Year after year, in spite the different permutations and variations, he was just never happy. The schools, together with his family, would constantly meet and adjust and adapt, but Teodoro just wouldn’t thrive no matter how creative we were and no matter how well meaning we all were. Finally, when he was 12, and it had become impossible to physically force him to go to school, we just stopped. We call these years our dark ages. Unhappy in school, Teodoro didn’t seem any happier at home. He had periods of happiness, far longer, of course with this new set-up, but it was a tenuous position and we lived in this kind of uncertainty until finding ILLC. Today, in what could only be called a Miracle story, Teodoro is not only thriving in ILLC, he is happy. And we all know how elusive that word can be to parents like us. Teodoro absolutely loves school. His vocabulary has grown, his social skills are wider, and his days are full of stories of his teachers and classmates. Every day he faces so many challenges but he faces them all because he wants to make his teachers proud. I don’t mind as his mother, because I am grateful that Teej has many mothers and many fathers to spare.

 

 

Our ILLC Experience By: Maria Cecilia B. Halili

When our son, Alexis, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, acceptance was never a problem for me and my husband. Defining our goals for Alexis was the next thing we did; and we came up with only one goal: "For him to be able to stand and live for himself when time comes." When I learned that ILLC will start to accept younger kids with special needs this School Year, I set an appointment with Sir Archie. After the meeting, I told my husband that my mind is set to enroll Alexis to ILLC - and we were not disappointed. Who would have thought that the once stressful activity of going to a supermarket with him would be an enjoyable activity for both of us now? He could now relate that Mango is our National Fruit or that Bangus is our National Fish. These he acquired thru the school's Home Application Program, wherein he got to experience and apply the lessons learned inside the classroom to his daily life activities. In the Modified Basic Education Program, he now enjoys studying with no pressure because lessons were taught at his own pace. My son still needs help in some aspects but we are not in a hurry; after all, learning is a lifelong process. For the school year that ended, we want to extend our special thanks to Sir Archie, Teacher Nina and most especially to Teacher Anna Margallo, Teacher Sam Pizarro and Kuya Ruel (Teacher Aide) for your love, passion and patience to kids like Alexis. We are looking forward to more fruitful years with you. ILLC has been truly devoted to kids / persons with special needs and also are truthfully working on their promise -- "We prepare your child for life."

 

 

Our Personal Experience in ILLC By: Judge Alfredo and Dr. Marilissa Ampuan

The ILLC has helped address behavioral problems of my son, James David especially during the past nine months stay in school. He learned household chores as well as eating his meals, picking up of his plate, spoon, fork and glass then taking them to the kitchen sink, and trying to wash them. Whenever he wants to get a biscuit or snack food from a nearby store, he would ask for money to be able to buy it. We are surprised by the exemplary behavior he is showing us. We receive weekly reports of his work which shows the activities he performed during the week. We appreciate the hard work of the school administrators especially the SPED teachers of James who always monitor and provide regular evaluation. We consider ILLC a second home for our son. Everyone in the school receives him with caring and loving hands every morning and return him every noon in the similar manner. After almost a year of schooling, we are well aware that he is surrounded by the best, well-trained and loving people who do not only care for him but train him to develop his potentials and address his limitations and in the future, learn to live independently. As parents, we have made the right choice to take him to ILLC and for this we want to express our deepest gratitude for the dedication and commitment in teaching him how to become independent and be able to do the self-help management skills.

 

 

 

 

The Answer to Parents’ Dreams By: Rosalinda Tabios- Reyes

I came to learn about ILLC when my professor, mentor and thesis adviser; Dr. Ed Dizon from UP-Diliman, told me to request Mr. David to validate the survey instrument I prepared for my thesis. Right after talking with Mr. David and learning his insights about my survey instrument, we also talked a little about ILLC and the programs the school offers. I came to decide that I will recommend ILLC for my niece Yanti who has Down Syndrome. At that time, Yanti was still enrolled in another school. I knew then that ILLC is the perfect educational choice for Yanti. Unfortunately, Yanti had already completely lost interest in going to school. When told to go to school, she would say, “I’m a big girl now! No longer a baby.” This was triggered by the fact that her classmates are of pre-school age when Yanti is already 20 years old. Since my sister died two years ago, Yanti was left under my care. With the concepts I’ve learned and principles I have applied as SPED-Specialist, I knew that ILLC is the answer to my dream of providing the best for her to overcome some inappropriate behaviors previously observed and most important of all, for Yanti to also live a happy and meaningful life with least supervision. I do not expect her to excel academically for I am aware of the limitations a person with Down Syndrome possesses. Our dream for her is beginning to show signs of realization. She has again developed her interest in going to school. She voluntarily initiates doing her assignments now unlike before, and she has friends whom she often mentions when sharing her activities in school. One of the things she has perfected doing is writing her name, name of her school and her section. If in the past, she needed to be pushed to get ready for school, now she does it all voluntarily and hurries up her mama (what she calls her nanny) when she’s ready. Thank you so much to all the ILLC teachers and staff for their dedication, commitment and patience in teaching children like Yanti, especially to teachers Jason and Pat; but most of all thanks to Teacher Archie for his leadership and management. He never fails to connect with the students and continue making a difference in their lives.

 

Our ILLC Experience By: Iriz Ann P. Montebon

Before ILLC, Via dreaded going to school because of certain expectations on how she should behave inside the classroom. Our daughter is creative, kind-hearted, immensely curious and fun-loving. How these character traits reflect when she's in the classroom is very much welcome in ILLC. Via's teachers are very patient and understanding. They see the positive in how Via perceives the world around her and help her turn these into her strengths. Because of this, ILLC helped turn a formerly shy little girl into a very confident and friendly one. In fact, she is now very natural in treating new acquaintances as close friends. Via looks forward to seeing her teachers and classmates. She has surely found her "tribe" in ILLC. Her dad and I can sense that the community really places importance in making each student feel that they belong, are accepted and are genuinely appreciated. This, in effect, makes Via love learning. We are sure that she will bring the love of learning with her all throughout her life and we will be forever grateful to ILLC, most especially to Teachers Archie, Coleen, Rose and Kuya Jachine, for making our daughter Via fall in love with school.

 

 

 

 

Our ILLC Experience By: Rizalyn P. Jurado

It was 14 years ago when Judge Ivan, was diagnosed with autism. Since then, our family has never been the same especially with the constant struggle to cope in accepting his disability as well as managing to raise two other children. As we learned to understand Judge more, we knew that would need a very strong, and more patient partner during his formative years of life. This, I am glad to say I have found in ILLC. I heard about ILLC through Judge’s speech therapist, Ms. Ria Baldos. At first I was hesitant in changing schools again since this would be the sixth institution for my son in a span of 10 years. I took a chance and visited the school and talked to Mr. Archie David. He let me tour the school’s various facilities and informed me about ILLC’s Job Readiness Program and the successes that they have made in placing special children in various menial yet fulfilling job employment positions. This helped convince me to enroll Judge with ILLC as it gave me comfort not only in the school’s ability to mold my son’s skills for his future but more importantly, I was able to hold on to an aspiration that one day my son could live a normal life as an adult and work for his own future as well. This was the forefront reason that I believe ILLC to be the right partner for me and a perfect fit for my son. As this school year is nearing its end, I can safely say with confidence that my decision to enroll Judge in ILLC was the best. I’ve never seen my son with so much enthusiasm in going to school every day. He can now move and act confidently in school programs and activities, he is more independent in attending to his personal needs, and he is now more able to adapt himself in the community. Judge’s renewed and more fervent interest to be in school and actively participate in its activities I believe is a product of the school administration’s in-depth knowledge of the special needs of children, the teachers’ dedication and perseverance to reach out not only to Judge’s mind but more so to his budding heart that longs for understanding and acceptance in this rigid society we live in. Lastly, the school’s various staff members who arduously strive daily and undertake even the minutest detail in order to preserve and mold an environment conducive and secure for my son’s learning as he transitions from his home life into the real world. To ILLC, my deepest gratitude and appreciation always. I pray that as the years go by, this institution will allow my son to truly find the essence and his place in the real world which has been relatively deprived of him. Thank you again and to God be all the glory.

 

 

 

 

About Us

The Independent Living Learning Centre, established in July 2003, caters to the need of children, adolescents and young adults with developmental conditions. The aim has been to promote the students optimum level of independence and quality of life. By maximizing their ability for self - sufficiency in the domains of self care, education, social interaction, work and recreation. Practical learning activities for independent living are provided in home and community setting to help generalize learning.

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