Before I found The Son-Rise Program® I would put raisins close to my eyes to try to trick Nathan to look at me. It was very hard and was emotionally frustrating. But I kept trying because that was all I knew to do to help him. Nathan was so withdrawn and would show no interest at looking at me. He didn’t respond to his name and acted as if he was deaf. It got worse after he ate all the raisins or if he got tired of raisins. He would completely phase out. That was when Nathan was 5 years old.
I’m thankful that I found Son-Rise®, it taught me to make my invitation for Nathan to be enticing yet without any pressure for him to comply. We have learned to join Nathan in his world of autism first. See first photo of me drumming the a ball as he withdrew into his world of autism and drummed his ball.
Whenever Nathan is ready and gives us the “green light”, we invite him to our world of social interaction. In the succeeding photos, see Nathan’s strong eye-contact and willing engagement. We learned to use his motivations, not my demands (or my raisin tricks), for him to learn social skills like eye-contact and speech. Thus, learning was immediate and permanent.
On this day, Nathan was pretty withdrawn so I happily joined his ball drumming. But I also made fun reactions every time he sneezed or coughed or gave me the “green lights”. This boy, who has blossomed with a cute, mischievous sense of humour because of Son-Rise, enjoyed my slap stick comedy and kept looking at me and checking my reaction immediately after he made intentional sneeze or cough sounds.
These days Nathan CHOOSES to look at me and even creates his games to get my attention and make me laugh and play with him.
Life is a blessing! There is so much HOPE for our children regardless of the severity of their autism.