Tyler (pseudonym) is a boy aged 4 and is a last born in a family of 3. Both his parents are alive and they take up menial jobs in the farming areas of Banket. According to the mother, the child was born “normally” however, at 9 months, the child exhibited retarded developmental milestones. After seeking medical attention, the mother was informed that the child had autism. According to the mother, she could not accept this and at some point she felt that her child was bewitched. Most of the times, the child was locked up at home and it was at the beginning of 2018 that the mother received a visit from one of the community volunteers trained by the project who managed to convince her to take her child to school.
According to Tyler’s mother, the community volunteer explained to her why it was important and the benefits for having her child in school in spite of his condition. It is in the same month the child was enrolled at Banket Catholic Primary school. According to the Tyler’s teacher, the first month was difficult for everyone that is, the parents who were sceptical whether the child would cope, and the other children who failed to understand him and insentiently excluded or discriminated him. Tyler wanted to sit in class and play alone, needed assistance to go the toilet and suffered from blurred speech.
With combined effort from the parents, technical support from the Remedial tutor to the teacher and trainings received from the project, Tyler has scored some significant development milestones. In the words of the teacher she had this to say:
“Unlike before, I could hardly hear what he would say, but now his speech is clear and you can easily have a conversation with him …….. He can go to the toilet on his own and he can socialise with other children. I employed the buddying system in a way to enable him to fit in the class, and the child I paired him is his best friend who he wants to have by his side all the times”
The mother could not hide his joy about how Tyler had significantly developed ever since the time he was enrolled in school. She mentioned that “my fears, scepticism and being wary of the views of the community nearly denied my child an opportunity to access education like any other child…”
Teacher further mentioned that Tyler is naturally sharp and he is one of the best student in her class… He likes puzzles and easily solves these puzzles, block building (dismantling and reconstructing).