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Son-Rise is like Mother’s Instinct

One reason why the Son-Rise Program is the easiest, yet most productive therapy for autism is because it’s based on parent’s instincts. Juliet, our nanny (not a mommy yet but) instinctively knows how to help Nathan. Nathan still gets his pronouns wrong. But if he wants, he can construct perfect sentences. This is how his Ate Juliet helps him:
Nathan: raisins?
Juliet: raisins? (she knows what he wants but won’t move until he gives her a full sentence)
Nathan: Do you want raisins? (still getting his pronouns mixed up)
Juliet: No, I don’t want raisins. (still pretending to act like a dummy to promote child’s speech)
Nathan: (pauses and thinks) Ate Juliet, I want raisins please.
Juliet: Good asking! I’ll get your raisins!

Son-rise principles/techniques:
1. Even if you know what child wants, act like you don’t understand, to help him verbally communicate his needs.
2. Motivation: reward his efforts with enthusiasm!

This is better than correcting him all the time. That might make him feel insecure that he cannot construct sentences right. And next time, he may choose not to interact anymore.

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Letting go of fears and expectations

Running a home-based Son-Rise Program for the complete recovery of my autistic son is not without challenges. I have come to the point where I feel the burden of responsibility for his development and I feel the fear of not being successful. A friend suggested that, like all Moms, I needed a break once a while. While I probably give myself too much breaks, I pondered upon the suggestion.

A “break” may imply that I need to run away from something. After the break….oh no, I have to go back that thing that I was running away from. Am I tired of playing with my son?

I truly love my kids and this is really what I’ve wanted. I guess it is only the burden and fear that’s bogging me down.

Bears Kaufman, co-founder of the Son-Rise Program, would ask parents of special kids, “What would you do if your child did not get better?” It seems like a harsh question to ask but it leads to letting go of the such fears and just enjoying the son-rise journey. Honestly, now I would still answer, “Of course my son will get better, I know I can do this!” Reflecting upon it, my answer implies that I am pressured with expectations from my son. Pressure will not make things easier for me or for my son.

It is not a “break” that I need. It’s the ability to love what I am doing. I know I do. As for my burden, fears and expectations….Lord, I offer them to You.

And now, to move on with my Son-Rise journey.

Thank you to my friends and volunteers who are helping me through this journey.