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We are his students 

Nathan used to be so withdrawn and oblivious to the presence of his Father. Today, he’s teaching his Father foreign language…autism language, that is.
When we become Nathan’s students, he steps or of autism to interact with us.

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Tantrums

Nathan has been using tantrums and testing his new volunteer, Zirah. But after a few coaching sessions asking Zirah to adopt the following Son-Rise attitudes and techniques, she quickly nailed it! Twice in his session today, Nathan started to whine. In both instances, Zirah remained calm and in a few minutes, Nathan settled down.

Son-Rise principles:

1. I asked Zirah to find peace despite Nathan crying and even hitting his head. If she is relaxed, it will be much easier for her to ask Nathan to relax.

2. While we always want to be “user-friendly” and help Nathan communicate his needs, we also want him to know that tantrums are not as effective as using words to communicate. We move slowly (in a boring way) to help him get his needs met when he tantrums and we move fast (with excitement) as soon as we hear his words to express his wants. Things we celebrate are reinforced.

For a 1-week volunteer, Zirah certainly learns fast!!! Feeling blessed by our new volunteer!

In the photo: Zirah andNa than 

#SonRiseRocks!

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Another day in the life with autism

Our neighbours, 5 floors down, are renovating their unit. In response to all the noise, poor Nathan was banging his ears. All I could do was explain that they were fixing and drilling down stairs and hope that he could find a way to cope with the noise.
We take for granted our ability to block out unnecessary noise and ability to focus on the person speaking in the room.

Kids with autism are bombarded by sounds (or whichever of the 5 senses they are overstimulated by), and they have a great way of coping by zoning out and focusing on their repetitive movement. But this time, the noise of drilling was just too much for Nathan to cope. Hopefully all the drilling and pounding will be done soon.

When you see a child in with autism in the mall, rocking, flapping, spinning, chanting, or something “autistic”, bless the family with a smile of approval (instead of giving a you’re-strange-look) and just know that the child is just doing his/her very best trying to block out the overpowering noise, or lights, or smells, and just trying to cope with something very very difficult for him/her at the moment.

…just another day in the life of autism…

God made each of us special. No matter what trials in life, He always gives us a way to cope.

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Challenge or No Challenge, each day is a blessing!

Many kids in the playground know that Amor and Nathan have special needs, they have seen how I help Amor to become more generous (and share swings or learn to ask for it politely) by me modelling what polite is. In time many kids give way, model politeness and thus help Amor become more polite (instead of being irritable, rigid and unwilling to share toys or the swing).
However, yesterday was different, a boy, who was neurotypical but just as rigid as Amor 😂, sat on her favourite swing. She declares that swing “Mine!” and no one else can use it. Btw, “owning” one swing is a big improvement from when she used to declare that all 4 swings in the playground was hers, and she would shout at everyone who sat on any one of them. Praise God for her growing flexibility! 😁

Back to the stingy boy, who was much older by the way, I modelled asking politely and helped Amor to explain that that was her favourite swing. He looked like a “no, I’m the king” kinda child (just like my Amor 😂) so I asked Amor to be ok with the boy saying “no” to her request. But poor Amor had a tough time dealing with it…She had no choice. He said he would use it for another 10 mins then give it to her. Poor kid must have felt the pressure of Amor’s Mom but my intention was to help Amor negotiate for the swing herself. It must have been a hard 10 mins for Amor. Later, we asked again, politely 😄, and he reluctantly moved, because his understanding friend convinced him to let the swing go.

In that challenge Amor learned to ask as politely as she could muster in that situation, it’s ok if the child says “no”, it’s ok to wait then ask again in persistence. In the end she was just happy to have “her swing”. Though I know it was difficult for her, tantrum level wasn’t so bad.

The world is full of challenges, even for a 10-year-old who only wants her favourite spot on the swing. There will be times with most awesome, generous people and there will be those, who we wish would understand us more.  

….but whatever the world gives me, already I have been blessed knowing I have the tools I need to help Amor cope in social settings #SonRiseRocks!

Praise God for His never failing guidance in this journey!

I don’t have a photo of that challenging day. But I do have a photo of another day. Amor on her favourite swing, blessed by a child who happily lent Amor a baby doll and stroller. 

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The Gift of Healing

In the past few days Nathan has been recalling songs. He’s even re-teaching me the lyrics and melodies of songs from years ago and even Japanese songs, which he listened to (but never sang) when he was in a special needs school back in Japan.
Nathan regressed, deep into autism. He was able to sing perfect nursery rhymes at age 2 1/2. But he slowly started losing words, his songs became humming, he started losing the melody and his songs became chanting. By age 4, Nathan “completely slipped away”. He had no eye-contact, he was unable to use intentional words, he even lost the ability to echo his words (echolalia) and all his singing turned into rhyme-less chanting.

…but it has been an amazing past week. I can feel neurons reconnecting in his brains as if he is he picking-up from where he “was lost”. He is 10 years-old now, and it’s amazing that he’s singing songs from age 3 to 5…those were the regression years, the years when he no longer sang or spoke meaningful words. 

What have I been doing differently? 2016 had been a year of deepening faith and understanding how much I am loved by God as demonstration through Christ and all the healing that he did when he was alive. He healed FIRST, without condemnation, without asking for anything in return. He healing because He loved us and He wants to continue to heal if we allow Him to. 

I am greatly blessed, highly favoured and deeply loved!