As I prepared for a presentation, to recruit Son-Rise volunteers, I realized the amazing leaps Nathan has made!
Three years ago, when Nathan was 5 years old, before I even knew about The Son-Rise Program®, Nathan did not respond to his name. I didn’t even know if he knew what his name was. I didn’t even know if he knew I was “Mama” or if he knew “Papa”. I used to sing, using the muffin man melody, “Do you know Mama Chris, Mama Chris, Mama Chris? Do you know Mama Chris, she loves you very much.” I never got a response from him. Yet I would sing that song to him every night.
Today, not only does Nathan recognize his name and my name, Nathan calls all his Son-Rise Volunteers by name…and also all of Amor’s Son-Rise volunteers by name! Even new volunteers are easily recognized by Nathan.
Nathan was never taught the names of his volunteers in a flashcard/classroom lecture-way. Nathan was never drilled and asked what his volunteer’s names were. Instead, Son-Rise volunteers have been coming to love and accept him, to build relationship, to be user-friendly and convenient to socialize with and to be his “best friends”. Of course, Nathan has been happily taking efforts, stepping out of autism, to get to know his volunteers too!
It’s an amazing autism journey, thanks to The Son-Rise Program!