I attended the son-rise start up program recently at Sheffield, Masachuttes. Till the age of 8, Ramam was non verbal, and at this point of time was when I was introduced to the son rise program. I began applying the principles of the son –rise program based on the material I had, supported ably by the videos on You tube. Then I saw a huge leap in his language skills, from being totally silent .The first aah’s and ooh’s emerged. The past couple of years he has been at a one-word level; stagnating. This has been extremely frustrating for us, as his parents. Another concern, being his lack of articulation. Out of sheer desperation and anxiety I went back to the son-rise website began viewing their videos again. I was somehow convinced when all other approaches have failed be it, VBA, or the speech therapies, this will again kick start his dwindling language skills. At one point, he was again becoming totally silent.
The Son –rise program story begins with the journey of Bears and Samahria’s to help their autism son, Raun to recover. The son-rise program is a home based therapeutic approach, to help children grow in all area of development with a primary focus in social development. It is a parent directed approach. It is one of THE programs where you handle the problem of autism in the most acceptable, loving, respectful manner to the child. There are the major corner stone principles of the program:
• You believe the child’s potential is limitless, what he is now is not an indication of his future. It is not about false hopes either, as you work jointly with the child to help him recover.
• Motivation, and not, repetition holds the key to learning. We uncover the child’s unique motivation to teach the child.
• Autism is not a behavioural disorder, and is a neurological challenge.
• Your children stimming or “isms”, as they call it is a doorway for you to enter your child‘s world. We join, rather than stop, the child’s repetitive, exclusive and ritualistic play. For me, this has been the most challenging aspect of the program, when in the last 12 years I have been telling him not to stim. It is not a “trick” when you join them in their isms. You are genuinely interested in joining the child.
• The parent is the child’s best resource. Setting up a playroom which is distraction free. You begin by spending 15 min in a session with your child up to 8 sessions in a day, gradually increasing it. One can also set up a team of volunteers to work with child, based on the
• Practise the three Es, Energy, excitement and enthusiasm when you are with the child in the playroom, it is what will keep the child motivated.
It is about taking responsibility, loving in an “active” manner, with all the energy and enthusiasm you can bring into their lives. In the playroom, you become the child’s biggest interest. He understands the value of bonding, joy of having a relationship and being able to continue and forge new relationships. He is present and is able to interact with his siblings, peers and other people. Lot of it is commonsensical, such as doing the right things for your child. Delight in an interaction with him; adopt an accepting, welcoming attitude, and most importantly a profound respect for your child, giving him control.
One of the major take aways of this program is the paradigm shift in the attitude of the parents’. Happiness is a choice. They call it a phenomenon and truly so, as this has changed the lives of so many children across the world impacting a miraculous transformation. Most of the professionals working in the Autism centre of America, where these program are conducted are parents themselves and seen the transformations in their own children and having been working there for the last 18-20 yrs. Of course, they have also been training more people along the way.
The success stories are huge. Your children‘s recovery from autism is a distinct possibility, once you embark on this journey. As they say, you are in it for a long haul. It is a marathon, and hence pace your self. The larger goal is to cure the child, and let not the smaller one ,distract you from the purpose.