When Amor was younger, she had sensory hearing issues. She hated the sound of the vacuum cleaner, blender or even an electric toothbrush. She would freak out every time I invited her to dry her hands with the electric dryer in public comfort rooms. As a result of her hearing sensitivities, she had trouble picking up and singing her nursery rhymes on tune. I though she simply took after me. I can only sing in the shower :-). Haha. She still has a little issues with certain sounds, the issues comes and goes, but she has definitely come a long way and continue to overcome many challenges!
It’s so fascinating watching her catch the right melody and tunes of this song. And unlike her previous Christmas presentation, she is so connected with the crowd and not distracted by the microphone anymore! We just enrolled her in singing class and she learned so much so fast! Hurrah for her music teacher!
The biggest thing that has helped us with Amor’s sensory issues is The Son-Rise Program. Simply understanding that Amor could not handle those sounds…YET and removing them, putting her in a distraction-free environment, to nurture her growth first until she was ready for the challenge. Sure enough, today, whenever I invite her to dry her hands in public dryers, she will gladly do it as I tell her how proud I am that she is so brave dealing with that “loud” sound. Of course, we continue to work on Amor’s health by ensuring she doesn’t not eat preservatives, coloring, sugars, gluten and casein. We also test and supplement mineral/vitamin deficiencies.
This autism journey has really brought my trust in God to a higher level. I have a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ teachings: look at flowers and birds who do not stock their food in barns, yet God clothes and feeds them, what more you who He loves.
I am witness to the infinite ability of our body to heal. I have stopped using fear, instead trust in God and His goodness.
Through The Son-Rise Program, I have learned that simply loving and accepting a child can enormously help him/her flourish.
Through Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing), I have learned that our bodies have been given innate ability to heal itself. Touch is a powerful tool we can use to heal ourselves and our loved ones.
Truly, the best things in life are free!
Chatting with Mom, she just told me that Nathan is her favorite grandchild (don’t tell my brothers).
It means so much to me that Nathan is truly loved and accepted by grandma, for who he is today…not what she wants him to become.
I love you Mom!
In the photo, Nathan with Grandma, when she visited us 2 years ago.
Helping Nathan communicate his wants to other people:
I know Nathan loves it when I echo what he says. Sometimes I think he believes all he as to do is look at me or touch my mouth/chin and automatically, I know to echo him to his delight.
But always doing what he wants me to, will not teach him to communicate his needs to other people. So this is what I have been doing:
1. Get into the game:
I don’t challenge him right away. He looks/gestures then I do what he wants you to: echo his crazy language, like “Do it Tita Ika”…Don’t ask me what that means. It’s the equivalent of our tongue twisters. I’ll do this about 3 times until he’s laughing so loud.
2. Build a step at a time:
Before the 4the round, I model “Say ‘do it Tita Ika please.’ ” Then pause to give him time to respond.
3. Reward any attempt.
Sometimes he will just answer ” ‘Ika’ please.” Without the “say ‘Ika’ please”. Nevertheless, I give him the pleasure of listening to my echo.
This keeps him on the game and prolongs attention span instead of making him turned off at the challenge.
4. Try again.
Remember to keep being in the fun game. I continue to model a longer request, “Mama say ‘Ika’ please.”
5. Celebrate every step
When he does achieve the biggest request “Mama say … please” I echo his words in a bigger and funnier way than thank him for asking Mama.
6. Let go of the outcome
If in the end he did not achieve saying the whole request, at least the bigger priority was done: building the relationship!
Have fun son-rising!
Qigong is another form of energy healing that I’m only beginning to look into. Basically, tapping the body is a very good way of tightening the muscles, strengthening bones, healing the nerves, simulating the brain, etc.,
As I watch Nathan tap his fingers on objects or tap his forehead, I smile knowing this smart boy has already discovered, on his own, how to heal his cerebral palsy and autism. He actually did, long before I heard about Qigong from other autism parents.
Here’s a intro link to Qigong
Amazing how Son-Rise has helped Amor strengthen her social skills. In public places like the bus and MRT, she used to just talk to anyone. Like, “What’s your name?” Or “I want to borrow your shoes!” I was always ready to manage the results of her randomly talking to strangers. At times they were friendly and understanding. Many times I had to comfort Amor and explain if people don’t want to talk to her (or even give her a bad stare), it’s ok, we can talk to friendly people.
We recently got on a train. This time, Its nice that Amor verbalized her thoughts so I could see how socially advanced she has gotten. She now knows who is friendly to talk to and who is not. She as looking at a lady holding her phone. Amor said to herself, “I don’t want to talk to her.” I responded, “Its ok if you want to.” Amor looked at the lady again, who was still sending messages on her phone. Amor confirmed her decision, “No, I don’t want to.”
How her social skills are improving. We simply have amazing son-rise volunteers coming over every weekend to play with her using Son-Rise principles. She knows the richness of relationships from the richness of the interaction they offer her. She’s starting to distinguish that rich relationship from simply seeing casual people in public.
Conventional therapy might otherwise just present situations in a box and ask kids with special needs to pick the desired response, from the box again. That would never have been able to teach Amor to distinguish between friendly people to choose to converse with or even choose not to go up to people randomly.
Blessed to have Son-Rise!!!
In the photo is Amor and her Amazing Papa who leads her “Weekend” Son-Rise Program. Many thanks to her amazing volunteers, past and present!
From the bedroom Nathan and I could hear his Son-Rise Volunteer, Aldhel’s voice. I said enthusiastically, “Hey you have a visitor, who could it be?” Nathan had a big smile on his face as he anticipated Aldhel. We opened the door. He smiled and said, “Go to the son-rise room,” as he escorted Aldhel