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Be what you want to receive 

It’s so amazing how we continue to witness Amor emerge from being so self-centred to becoming the sweet and caring soul she was meant to be.

Last night, when I got home, she greeted me with a smile and asked, “Mama, how was your seminar?” After our lengthy discussion, she turned to Papa and asked, “Did you pick-up Mama from her seminar?” 

She used to greet us with an its-all-about-me attitude like, “What’s in your bag? I want…” or “I want your iPhone! Now! (Or else I’ll yell harder)”
The biggest thing we have ever done is spend more time Son-Rising her and getting volunteers to play with her, deeply loving and accepting her need to satisfy her needs first. In return, she has been shifting her focus on others!
What an awesome journey! Praise God!
  

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What to do when twins want to cry and whine?

    We are looking forward to our first major family outing next month! But I’m not too excited about the 22-hour journey, with special-needs twins, a 3rd child and an absent father (for the first half of the trip). Thank goodness Grandma will be traveling with us.
The most challenging scenario I can imagine: Nathan will cry/tantrum, Amor will do her I’m-irritable-dance because of the cry, Nathan will then cry louder because of irritable Amor, Amor escalates her irritability…and the vicious cycle continues. This happens at home. Imagining it will happens in a 13-hour plane ride was giving me a headache.  

So I’ve been preparing the twins for this trip. I’ve been telling Amor that when Nathan cries, I needed her to be the big sister. She is, after all, 3 minutes older than Nathan. I said that when Nathan cried I need her to help me settle Nathan by being quiet. She agrees…when she’s in a good mood 😜

I reinforce her commitment, whenever the scenario is about to happen at home. When Nathan begins to cry, I immediately look at Amor. If she is still in a good mood, usually second before she decides to become irritable, I praise her, “Thank you Amor for being a good big sister. It helps me settle Nathan.” She gives me that proud smile and happily carries on. This has happened a number of times already. Now I just take a look at her, signal a thumbs up, then move quickly to settle Nathan. Cutting down on one step, half the tantrum in the house, has helped tremendously! Amor is such an amazing big sister!

With Nathan, I use several Son-Rise strategies depending on what’s bothering him at the moment.

– I work on my attitude and how I feel (fear, anxiety, tiredness) when he is crying.

– I act as if only if his words, not tantrums, move me. I calmly tell him, “What? I don’t understand if you whine. If you use your words I can understand. All you have say is Mama, I want…?” Most of the time, Nathan will stop and tell me what he needs.

– I give Nathan the proprioceptive massages and squeeze hugs that he needs to help his body settle from over firing sensory connections.

– When he does not stop sooner that I hoped, I tell him, “Nathan, I’m doing my best to help your body calm down. You have to help too. You have to help settle your own body.” An yes, he has responded positively to that too.

We’re blessed with such amazing Son-Rise tools. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to get myself and my twins ready for this travel. Let’s hope the journey will be uneventful!

In the photo is big sister Amor giving Nathan a kiss.

I was also surprised when Amor drew a plane and explained to me that when we travel and she would be a good big sister and be quiet so I can settle Nathan’s crying. Awesome!

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My Faith Journey 

In the hardest moments of my life, major breakthroughs (AKA miracles) came when I was most dependent on God.
We couldn’t conceive because of my polycyclic ovaries and when we did conceive, we miscarried. The doctor said it was ok and quite common. The second pregnancy also led to a miscarriage. This time the doctor said that chances of conceiving and carrying out a pregnancy was getting slim. If there will be a third miscarriage, there is almost zero chance that I would be able to bear children….I had a third miscarriage. 
After I lost the third baby, I was crying and crying thinking of the statistics the doctor gave me. I was barren, based on that prognosis.
We were blessed to be in a prayer group. It allowed us to surrender what we could not handle to God. But early in my faith journey, I might have chosen not to verbalise my most important prayers. I was afraid to pray boldly and ask for what doctors think was impossible. “What if it never happens?” I thought, “What is my prayers will not be answered?” But because of the blessing of that community, we prayed! For years we prayed boldly. We were confident that just as God granted many prayers in our prayer group, He would grant ours…and He did! In 2006, we were blessed with Nathan and Amor. In 2008, without needing fertility workout, Ian was our pleasant surprise! All that was lost, was restored!
The twins were premature, Nathan has cerebral palsy (limited ability to move his legs), Amor got the Global Developmental Delay diagnosis. We were ok and thought we could handle lifelong therapy for those special needs….until Nathan turned 4. By that time he had regressed and the doctors gave him the autism diagnosis. He was not functioning at all in a kindergarten setting. He would either just play with the water at the faucet or sit and mouth any toy he had his hands on. He was oblivious to everyone in the room.
Though the future I feared for Nathan was such a heavy burden to carry, I was hanging onto God’s word. God did say in his Psalms that, “In His time He makes all things beautiful…In His time.” I was crying all over again, waiting for that the moment of revelation. I was hoping it would come soon for I knew I would spend most days in despair until I had an idea about what God planned for us.
Nathan was not progressing in any of the multiple conventional therapies we were undertaking. In fact, things we getting worse. Nathan, who was a sweet baby, became a frequent whiner and became aggressive, choosing to bite whomever he could access if he couldn’t get his needs.  
Many professionals will say that autism was a life-long condition. Not doubting that belief, my prayers was for God to guide us in finding the right doctors, the right therapists, the right teachers, etc. who can help him optimise his potentials. But God gave us something even better! He showed us that we, the parents, are our kid’s best resource! He guided us to The Son-Rise Program(r) to hone our parenting skills. He showed us that there was no reason to lose hope. Many children have recovered from autism or at least have gone far beyond their initial prognosis and live meaningful lives.
Now in the road to recovery, and equipped with SO MUCH tools to help autism, I sometimes (or make that many times) forget and rely on my own strength to parent and help my kids grow. As I get tired and worn out. I am reminded again that I can ask God for a boost. I can unload my burden on Him. I can surrender what I cannot do and as He has done countless times in the past, I know He will help me. He will carry my load and give me a lighter yoke to carry. 
Today the God that who reveals Himself to me, comforts me. Despite all my imperfections, despite my wrong doings, despite moments when I ignored Him to draw strength from myself, He is a forgiving God. Like the prodigal son who did not even deserve a ring on his finger, a new robe wear and a welcome feast, I know my God welcomes me back each time I go astray. Today I pray boldly and with confidence for God to restore what he did not take away: To restore the health of all my children! With each day that I pray, my prayers are answered.

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Precious Moments

At age 4, when Nathan regressed deep into autism, he became oblivious to everyone, including his father. 
Tonight Nathan told me, “I want Papa to come home.” Luckily a few minutes later, Papa arrived, and Nathan was super excited to see him…again.
Though this is a common occurrence now, thanks to Son-Rise,  these are a blissful moments knowing that Nathan almost totally “slipped away”.