We moved to Manila from the US in November, 2009. Our son, Tejus, 15, who has autism, was being homeschooled using the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) program because public schools in the United States didn’t offer the right educational environment. Things changed when we found out about ILLC. The ILLC website looked impressive. Their goals for students were in line with ours. We wanted Tejus to be employable and develop social relationships – something all of us strive for. I was skeptical – could ILLC really offer this, something the schools in the US could not? Tejus began attending ILLC with the assistance of a shadow teacher trained in RDI. During this time, Tejus’ goals were simple - to sit quietly (without stimming) and interact with his teachers. Such simple goals were challenging for Tejus, especially since he had been out of a classroom environment for almost four years. Over time, we watched Tejus slowly engage with his teachers. In October of 2010, Tejus no longer had a shadow teacher. Our concern was whether Tejus could cope in the classroom without her. But, with the help of his nurturing and dedicated teachers, Teacher Margot and Teacher Camille, Tejus is attending classes by himself. This is the first time in his life that he has been able to do so. Now, he is an active member of his classroom. He is able to follow the lessons in class over short periods of time. We are excited about Tejus’ prospects at ILLC as we look forward to the Job Readiness Programs next year. ILLC is a great home for our special children, with teachers and administrators who have the right attitude.
Testimony By: Chitra Sharathchandra