Ronalyn is a mother of two boys, 5-year-old Rian and 13-year-old Rohan who is a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since the pandemic began, the three of them spend most of their time inside their small home in Pateros while Ronalyn’s husband works full time as a manager in a fast food chain.
Rohan has been recently attending learning activities online with the supervision of his mother to make sure that he remains engaged with the sessions. One of the learning activities that Rohan participates in is facilitated by Save the Children through Project SCOPE.
“When Rohan started to attend activities of Project SCOPE, I would listen in. I also learn from it and I am happy to know that my child has rights. He would get bullied when he goes out to play with other children. I would talk to the children and their parents when this would happen but now I know I that I can also go to authorities to report the bullying,” said Ronalyn as she recalled how their neighbors used to physically hurt Rohan.
Bullying is only one of the many challenges they faced. When Rohan was younger, some teachers in the public school he attended told Ronalyn that they cannot handle him in class. The teacher shared that they would let Rohan wait outside the classroom, excluding him in the daily class routine then at lunch time the teacher would have a separate learning session with Rohan. They had to move him to a private school that would take Rohan but it cost a lot of money and this resulted to Rohan missing out on his other needs like speech and occupational therapy.
“I did not know anything about children with autism that time. I did not know where to get information and support from. I am really glad to be part of a parent support group now. Although we are just starting, the information we get from Save the Children’s Project SCOPE is very helpful. Knowing other parents in the community and to have someone to talk to is also a big help,” Ronalyn shared as she thought about the struggles she experienced through the years.
The project “Strengthening the Capacity of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and Other Civil Society Organizations Towards Effective Civil Society-Local Government Engagement and Improved Government Accountability for Persons with Disabilities, Especially Children in the Cities of Parañaque and Taguig, and Municipality of Pateros” or SCOPE is a European Union Funded Action that empowers persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities and their parents to claim their rights. Through the Action, Save the Children has organized parent groups in Pateros, Parañaque, and Taguig.