We are now going into the 4th month my 5-year-old son’s Son-Rise Program for autism.
I’ve realized that Nathan’s “ism” (exclusive, repetitive behavior) has greatly diminished. Nathan used to enjoy flipping the pages of a book on his face so he could feel the breeze. The Son-Rise Program embraces these autistic behaviors instead of try to extinguish it (like some conventional therapy). Son-Rise recognizes that these behaviors have importance for the child (sensory input, sense of security, calming effect, etc). At the start we all joined Nathan and flipped pages to feel the breeze on our lips. I used to spend 2 hours of book-flipping before getting a good interaction from him.
Now, he does not need to flip pages anymore. If ever, he will have momentary “isms”. For example, he will come by an attractive book, flip it once on his face, then put it down and move on. It doesn’t take too long to get interaction from him anymore.
Old “isms” go as kids no longer feel the need for them, then new ones come along…Now Nathan enjoys feeling the shower on his face and body. The good thing is:
1. He verbally asks me that he wants to take a shower (btw, he mastered his “I want” communication skills in the 2nd and 3rd month of our son-rise program)
2. I use this motivation of his to teach him self-help skills like taking off his clothes. Nathan also has cerebral palsy (limited mobility of legs). I have always delayed the target of taking off his pants. But with his bathing motivation, he can easily take of his pants, with minimal assistance. I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot more practice because he keeps on asking to take a bath.
3. His “isms” seem to be improving from being completely exclusive to something more engaging…like, he wants to feel the water on his face but he knows he can’t get there with out mummy’s help. Of course I take advantage of that by asking for a kiss on my lips, cheeks, forehead, nose and then a big hug, which he gladly complies with 🙂