I attended the Son-Rise program in February of 2012. A month after I attended the Son-Rise Program Start-Up, these are the improvements I’ve been seeing:
1. Pointing. Nathan has never pointed before. It bothered me when a friend told me that that was one of the earliest signs of autism. Just 3 weeks ago, he had a day when he was just pointing and pointing, at what he wanted. It was as if a pointing button has just been turned on. Now, he uses this gesture very frequently to get his demands met.
2. Now Nathan understands the power of language. Before, if his voice wasn’t heard or if we could not understand what he was saying he would just give up. Now, he will try asking for what he wants again. And if he really wants it, he will try again and again!
3. Meaningful speech. Before, Nathan might recall ideas or movie lines and say it out of context, leaving me wonder if he really means or understands what he is saying. But he now more frequently says things in context. Example if he’s recalling a line like, “the hippo likes to swim in water,” (from Barney), I know it’s in context because he is holding a toy hippo in his hand. A lot of times he asks for things and when I give it to him, he will use them appropriately, like tissue to wipe his nose or drum sticks to beat the drums.
4. Physical improvements. Nathan also has cerebral palsy. This means he is unable to fully control his lower limbs…YET (I say “yet” with great conviction just as how I use it to describe how he has not mastered social skills…YET. Because he will in time). But because the son-rise room is a “yes” room, as in every “yes” encourages Nathan to go forward in all his abilities, Nathan and I have learned that there is nothing in this world he cannot do. Now, he climbs up the balance-challenging swivel chair. And just last week, on the swivel chair he dared twist his torso while holding on to the wall. His own motivation beats all the physical therapy we’ve been asking him to do. I can see how son-rise helps holistically improve children’s well being.
5. Nathan is using things more appropriately. Not too long ago, I remember having a hard time teaching/reminding him about the steps on how to wash hands and he would cry/complain about not being able to pump out the soap. He still needs a to do lot of work to catch up with hand coordination tasks. But all of a sudden, pumping soap is a breeze. He even tells me the steps as he washes his hands. I remember how he really has no interest in puzzles. He would rather mouth the pieces. But all of a sudden I find him accurately manipulating and covering a rectangular box.
So much more has to be done. Nathan is currently in stage 2 (out of 5) in the Son-Rise Program Social Development Model. But I am sure there is so much more progress to come.
Nathan is now 5 years and 8 months. Like all parents, we have tried Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Therapy, we even had stem cell injections more than 2 years ago, all in the efforts helping his Autism.
Nothing beats improvements brought about by running your own home-based son-rise program.
I discovered son-rise about 6 months back and did a little here and there, based on all son-rise program information online. But it was only a month ago that I attended the Son-Rise Program Start-Up at Massachusetts, USA, and really put hours into Nathan’s program and worked with volunteers. It has only been a week since he graduated from his Kindergarden School for special-needs children. So now, I am trying to work for a full time program….except when his siblings come back from school and also demand for my time.