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My little drama boy

This morning, I couldn’t play chess with him, so Ian complained that I didn’t spend enough time with him. He decided to be little Mr. Drama Boy and slamed his bedroom door to protest.  
Knowing he needed to be comforted, I knocked and he immediately let me in. I asked to confirm what all the drama was all about and he reiterated that he felt that I did not spend time with him. The little boy is trying to use guilt to move me…and it almost worked! I had to put a “pause” between what Ian said (the stimulus) and how I was going to choose to react to it (my response). Son-Rise® calls this “pause” part of the Stimulus-“BELIEF”-response model. 

I reminded Ian that, being the neurotypical child, he is the only one who gets to go on play dates, he gets to go to parties, I bring him to the movies alone, etc. while the twins will have to wait a couple more years before they are ready for more outings.

I told Ian that it’s true, I spend so much time Son-Rising Nathan, but I do it because I want to help Nathan as much as I can today so that in the future, Ian won’t have to carry the heavy burden of taking care of Nathan, especially when I and hubby pass away.

Then I told him that he can help. He can pray to Jesus to hasten Nathan’s healing so that we can spend more time together.

My smart Ian quickly understood and compromised. “Ok mama,” he said, “All I’ll ask for is that you give me a squeeze hug in the morning, a squeeze hug when I get back from school, one at night and one in the middle of the night.” Funny, squeeze hugs are something we discovered that helped Nathan, but Ian thinks it’s just as effective for his needs.

Change the belief and you can change the response!

What a blessing to have this super understanding and forgiving child. God has truly blessed me with Ian! 

In the photo (L-R): Amor, Ian, Nathan. 5 years ago, even as early as 3-years-olds, my “baby” Ian was the responsible one, helping big Brother Nathan walk, and holding big Sister, Amor’s, hand so she won’t run away. I used to call Ian the big little Brother 😄.

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Appreciating the Appreciation

Son-Rise® teaches us to appreciate all the good things our children do and give them big 🎉celebrations 🎉 when they do. That is, instead of wait for them it do unwanted/attention-grabbing behaviours, and reprimanding them for it.
Since Amor had lots of sensory issues as a child, she looked very irritable, seemed stubborn and had major challenges transitioning. After Son-Rise, I learned to appreciate every time she followed me or even just attempted to despite her sensory issues, and I anticipated that she would. Before Son-Rise I resorted to reprimanding her after she ran away from me, or screamed “no! I’m staying here!” or lay on the floor to tantrum and resist going home. Believe me, it only made things worse! Amor is an I-will-not-do-anything-you-tell-me kinda child 😅. Reprimanding never works for that kind of child. 

This simple Son-Rise technique of appreciation has worked wonders for us. In fact, it’s blessing us abundantly these days. Our conservations are like this now a days:

Me: Amor, you were so good today, thank you for helping me finish all my errands and holding my hands when I invited you to go home.

Amor: thank you Mommy for appreciating me. I like having a date with you.

Me (while my heart melts): thank you Amor for telling me that you appreciate it 😄😄😄.

Bringing Amor out used to be a headache. These days, I’m excited about dates adventures we can now have together! 

Our special needs kids really want to be told that they are doing a great job, but sometimes they simply can’t because of over-powering sensory issues. I’m so blessed that Son-Rise® helped me understand this.

Appreciation has not only helped Amor get the attention she needed, but has dramatically helped her overcome all her sensory challenges! 

We are blessed by the gift of healing!

In the photo: me and my good girl Amor at one of our outings.

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Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone!!!
I’m super excited to listen how much God loves us. Papa is off for a business trip but I’m taking the challenge of bringing all kids to church single-handled. But they have been so good and so helpful. Nathan was agitated before the taxi ride so I asked Amor to help me be silent to help him settle. Nathan settled soon enough 😄. When he was happy, I asked if they were ready for a photo and they all agreed. Even Nathan gave me the most amazing smile!

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Our protection. 

This verse speaks to me.
When Nathan got the autism diagnosis, my world crumbled.

It is true that many families can be broken because of autism. It is easy to imagine why divorce rates are higher for families with special needs. But we have been guided in our journey and found The Son-Rise Program®, which not only empowered us to be Nathan’s best play therapists, but allowed the whole family to heal and enhance our relationships with one another.

In this world, where hope can be easily thrown away by a diagnosis of a life-long condition, we have been blessed with the restoration of hope.

A thousand my fall by our side…but we have been blessed and protected by the love that God shines on us through Christ! 

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Autism Help is Back in Singapore!

Share the blessing of being able to say, with conviction, that#AutismRecovery is possible!

#tryabettertherapy! Let Raun K. Kaufman, bestselling author and global director of the Autism Treatment Center of America tell you how you can believe in your child again!

Get your tickets at SISTIC

Don’t miss this life-changing, 2-hour, seminar this Saturday, 15 October, or Sunday, 16 October 2016! It turned my life around from despair to bliss! I know it will bless you too!

See you there!!!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2yw5K08NUY]

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Best way to change the world

Some parents have been asking me about Son-Rise®: what they can do to help their child, and in particular what they can change in themselves to help their irritable child. When questions start to gear towards “how can I change myself?” I can’t help but smile and congratulate them! They don’t even know it, but they are great Son-Rise parents already! 
The truth is, in this autism journey, it is ME who has benefited the most!

The best way to help my withdrawn Nathan to learn and love social interaction, is for me to learn and love to socialise with him first.

The best way to help my sensory-irritable Amor to become more relaxed and flexible, is for me to model my comfort, even while she’s overwhelmed with sensory issues, even while she throws tantrums at me and even while she pushes my buttons. 

The best way to help my amazing Ian be excited about growth and learning is for me to be celebratory of all his achievements, big or small. 

The best way to ask my hubby to understand me, is to put myself into his shoes first to understand his needs so that we can decipher how we can come to an agreement and mend our differences.

While all the changes started within, profound changes have blessed me!

Be blessed with the gift of being able to change the world, by changing self first! 

In the photo (left to right): Amor, Papa Gil, Ian, Nathan and Me!

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From Weakness to Strength

It is such a blessing hearing Amor prepare for her Christmas concert! Because she has come a long way from her hearing sensitivity, this is a miracle itself! Now, she turns what was once her weakness into her greatest strengths.

What brought tears to my eyes is listening to my Princess sing a song about our saviour Jesus, the source of healing for her and Nathan, her brother with Autism.

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Approaching other kids

While Amor had her victory moment at the playground, Nathan had his too!
After he was done at the slide, Nathan walked back to the swing, which he normally stays on for most of playground time…but all swings were occupied. Oh no! 

I didn’t want to be the bully Mom telling the kids to get off because Nathan has a handicap. I was hoping Nathan would be able to ask someone for a swing but at the same time I was worried. While Nathan has spontaneous speech with me, family members, Son-Rise volunteers and few friends, he normally will not say anything to anyone new. I was wondering if we were about to get into another tantrum moment. The swings always has at least one vacant seat for Nathan.

So not knowing what to expect, I told him, “Nathan, they are still using the swing, but if you want to borrow you can tell them, ‘may I borrow the swing please’.” Then I watched with amazement…

Nathan took few steps towards the closest boy and said, “I want the swing please.” The nice boy politely gave his swing to Nathan 😅😄😄😄

So awesome! I’m so proud of Nathan! 

Praise God for Nathan’s continue healing and for all the polite kids in our neighbourhood! 

I don’t have great photos today…but here’s Nathan as he conquered climbing the slide before be conquered approaching the kids to ask for swing!

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Helping Irritable Be Generous 

I was busy with Nathan at the swing when I noticed that there was a Mommy standing in front of Amor and thus, Amor could not swing.
“Can I help?” I asked, wondering what Amor did again. Yes, Amor is notorious for grabbing swings and shouting “mine!” at other kids…only because she still needs help getting the right social cues and making friends.

The Mommy explained that Amor grabbed the swing from her Daughter, who by the way, was more than half of Amor’s age.

“Amor has special needs,” I explained.

“I didn’t know, never mind,” the Mommy answered as she got ready to pull her Daughter away.

“No, no, let me help,” I said as I turned to look at Amor. “Amor can be very good at sharing, she just needs a little bit of help. Aren’t you Amor?” Amor just looked at me, still clinching onto her swing 😄

“Never mind,” the Mommy insisted, “My Daughter also does not know how to ask.” Understandably, she was a cute 4-year-old.

“We can help then,” I kept trying. “Hey Amor, we can help the little girl to practice using her words!” That’s how I helped Amor to ask and borrow swings/toys at the playground. “When the little girl uses her words and asks politely, we can show her that we are so good at sharing!” Amor still had the same reaction holding tight on her swing 😄 Yes, that’s the stubborn Daughter that I love ❤️. “It’s ok to say ‘No’ Amor if you don’t want to share…but maybe after a few minutes, we can show them that we are good at sharing…”

The Mommy then guided her Daughter to ask for the swing…Amor loosened her grip. “Wow, Amor you are so good at sharing!” I celebrated. She then lifted some weight off the swing. “Thank you Amor for helping the girl use her words and for showing us that you are so good at sharing!” Amor then stood up with a smile on her face. And I gave her a big hug telling her how proud I was of her.

The Mommy was so impressed at how I handled my special needs Daughter. “I have been blessed,” I replied then pointed to Nathan who was quietly swinging, “…with twins with special needs,” and knowing when to #tryabettertherapy.

If she was a Mom with special needs I would tell her how much Son-Rise® has blessed me and helped me turn all my challenges into the most amazing blessings!

Praise God for this healing journey! 

For their privacy, I obviously didn’t want to take their photos. But here’s Amor in the photo, doing what she loves best: shaking the swing, which helps her calm her hearing sensitivity.

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Nightmare turned blessing

Nathan cried at the playground because I missed a one second window to spin him on the swing as he requested…Instead I challenged him to speak louder…oops 😁. He got so agitated, cried and started to hit his head. Someone even approached me to ask, “Does he have autism?” “Yes,” I confirmed and asked that she leaves me alone to try to settle him as best I could.
Amidst the crowd of children, parents and helpers, I collected all my emotions to stay calm and not to make big reactions to his crying. I told Nathan that the playground was a place to swing and if was going to keep crying, it would be better to go back home. All the while I kept reassuring him that I loved him.

I gave him enough time to settle. Even if I was getting all the stares from adults and some curious kids…which made time seem forever. When Nathan was more settled, I gave him a squeeze hug. As usual he was more relaxed by the hug. He settled a bit but kept crying….Then more squeeze hugs and more time to settle.  

After several minutes Nathan stopped crying and asked for a “squeeze hug” and a “Lovey Dovey hug”. Yes, we’ve got all sorts of hugs to make him feel better and they work wonders.

At last he became completely happy to swing again.

I sat on the swing next to him.

He got up and climbed on my lap, gave me the sweetest hug and asked me for more “Lovey Dovey hugs.”

What a blessing! Nightmare at the playground turned into the most precious Lovey Dovey moment!

I’m glad the phone always comes handy to capture precious moments!