March 1, 2024

Dear Manang,
I was devastated when I received the psychological evaluation of my son as being within the spectrum of autism with ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. I was advised to bring him to the therapist to help him take care of himself and do regular tasks in the house apart from learning basics like writing and reading. I wish that I could also be assisted in guiding him to do the tasks needed by everyone to survive. I’m not financially able to afford the regular therapy so I was advised to enroll him in SPED so he can get some experience with classmates and a routine like school which also serves as a kind of therapy for him, according to the psychologist. I don’t know what to do.
Nerissa of Kisad Road, Baguio City

Dear Nerissa,
I am glad that you are making efforts at helping your son. In truth, what is most important is to establish the communication between you and your son, which is overlooked. The most frustrating part for children is when people around them don’t understand what they’re saying or feeling. Indeed, some parents and caregivers need help in allowing the kids to care for themselves and also help in the household. School is a good thing so that they get to interact with other children and the teacher gets to help them communicate and have discipline too. One realization is that they know how to treat each other and have a finer sensitivity to their kind. For now, school is your option to draw out your child’s ability to express their wants and needs. Ask the teacher’s advice on how to handle your child.

Dear Manang,
My daughter recently told me that she doesn’t want to go to school because she’s afraid of someone who calls her to the room and touches her. I could only cry and embrace her because I thought it was a safe place to be in school but I was wrong. I talked to the principal about it but she said she would look into it. I want to know what I can do to stop the man and put him in jail. I want to go to the police but I’m afraid that my child will be interrogated and might get traumatized by insensitive questioning. Help.
Winnie of Irisan, Baguio City

Dear Winnie,
There are processes to establish the sexual harassment and of course authorities want to be sure that it warrants legal action. I know a medical examination is required and to subject a young child to this is also painful to mothers. But the facts must be established and there is no way else to do it but undergo the procedure. The police blotter is required as the first step then the next should be to seek the help of the Public Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges. But actually, I don’t know what I would do either. But having the incident immediately reported to the police is essential. The police can direct you on the next steps to take. We must take action on such matters because that is a personal violation.
Act fast,