The Son-Rise Program®, developed by parents, is a powerful, effective and totally unique treatment for children and adults challenged by Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Asperger's Syndrome and other developmental difficulties.
The Son-Rise Program® is different than - even opposite to - almost everything you've been told to do to help your child. Most schools and therapists, too, are operating on a deep misconception about what autism is and what works to treat it.
Traditional methods see autism as a disorder that is primarily behavioural (some even have the word "behaviour" in their name). They seek to eliminate or extinguish unwanted behaviours and promote wanted behaviours through repetition, training, and rewards.
"Autism is a social relational challenge,
not a behavioural disorder..."
Barry Neil Kaufman, Founder of The Son-Rise Program
With over 35 years of experience working with more than 35,000 parents, children, and professionals from over 140 different countries, we understand that autism is, at its core, a social relational challenge. Fundamentally, our children, regardless of whether they are not yet verbal or have Asperger's Syndrome, have difficulty connecting to, relating to, and communicating with others. Sure, our children may have behaviours that look different, but these are symptoms, not causes, and trying to stamp them out is not the answer.
The Son-Rise Program® is an alternative autism treatment based upon the idea that the children show us the way in, and then we show them the way out. This means that, rather than trying to force our children to conform to a world that they don't yet understand, we join them in their world first.
We Have Seen That Children On The Autism Spectrum Can:
Learn to speak, even if they've never spoken.
Experience real happiness, satisfaction, and love, even if they seem frustrated or combative right now.
Have deep, meaningful, caring relationships with others, even though they may have appeared disconnected for years.
Have fun, reciprocal conversations, even if they have a history of rigid communication.
Make close friends, even if they don't start with the interest or the tools to do so.
Live a life that may include college, dates, sports, jobs, hobbies, travel, girlfriends/boyfriends - regardless of how many of these life experiences their parents have been told were simply not possible.
What Makes The Son-Rise Program® So Different?
The Son-Rise Program® was the first to suggest that children with
these diagnoses had the potential for extraordinary healing and growth.
The Son-Rise Program® innovated an educational treatment modality which included joining children instead of going against them. The program places parents as key teachers, therapists and directors of their own programs and utilizes the home as the most nurturing environment in which to help their children.
The Son-Rise Program® dared to suggest that respect and deep caring would be the most important factor impacting a child’s motivation to learn, and from the beginning has made love and acceptance a meaningful part of every teaching process.
Employing this attitude, we first seek to create bonding and a safe environment. We then apply sound, time-tested educational strategies pioneered by The Son-Rise Program®. These principles remain a cornerstone of our approach.
Autism Training Program Topics Include:
Helping Your Child Relate to Others
No matter what level of development your child is at, this program can help you to connect deeply with your child and to build meaningful social interaction. We will give you the autism resources you need to generate within your child a sincere delight in human interaction so that your child initiates communication and interaction. You will learn how to help your child move beyond repetitive “stimming” behaviors without fighting these behaviors (it's easier than you might think). We will give you strategies for increasing eye contact, a pivotal step for learning and interaction. We believe that your child is capable of sincere affection and expressions of joy and caring, and we will show you how to encourage this on an ongoing basis.
Motivating and Teaching Your Child
Every child has a right to be educated by someone that believes in him or her. Every parent wants their child to be able to say what he wants, express love and take care of himself. We believe with certainty that your child can learn if he is highly motivated. In this program, you will learn how to find your child's motivations and interests. You will learn how to turn these into dynamic, customized learning experiences so that your child can learn and acquire the skills necessary for success in school and in life—from using the toilet or increasing attention span to reading a book or cooperating with others.
Speech and Language Development
Regardless of whether your child is using language or not, there are ways we can help you to help your child increase his/her communication skills. You'll learn to implement functional strategies for increasing verbal communication that will help your child interact, make requests and express himself. Whether your “child” is 3 or 23, we do not believe it is ever “too late” for your child to learn to communicate.
Creating an Optimal Learning Environment
Your child is capable of great learning in an environment that is comfortable, safe and free from over-stimulation. In this program, we'll show you how to construct an ideal educational environment. We can help you find and filter out nearly all of the most common distractions, many of which you may not even realize are affecting your child's learning. Also, you will learn how to eliminate the push-pull control battles that inhibit useful interactions. We'll show you how to use this special learning environment to maximize your child's development and participation while making your life easier and less chaotic.
Decisive and Useful Handling of Challenging Behaviours
Every parent and teacher struggles with certain things that their child does. We will teach you how to help your child to find different behaviours and more useful ways of communicating. In addition, you will learn practical techniques for preventing these behaviours before they happen. This makes day-to-day life a lot easier—for you and your child.
Attitudinal Training and Empowerment
For many, having a child with developmental difficulties and running a program to help him/her can feel very challenging. However, we believe that you are the most important force in your child's life. That makes taking care of you—and helping you take care of yourself—a major priority for us. You will have specialized, ongoing instruction in an attitude that feels peaceful, nonjudgmental, optimistic and hopeful. We will inspire you to overcome obstacles that may sometimes feel insurmountable. You will have opportunities to talk through your concerns and find answers. Whether it is stress management or time management, we can help you to care for yourself so that you can best care for your child.
Since 1983 the Autism Treatment Center of America® has worked with children and young adults diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. We have seen that The Son-Rise Program® principles and techniques have a profound impact on these children.
With this in mind, our Son-Rise Program Start-Up includes special ‘breakout’ sessions around language, goal setting and social skill development. If your child has received either of these diagnoses we will address:
- Growing communicating outside of their main area of interest (i.e. Does your child only talk about one favourite topic? Is your child only interested in asking specific questions with a desire to receive a specific answer?)
- Expanding areas of interest (i.e. Does your child only want to play only one game or activity? Do you find it challenging to inspire your child to participate in new activities or interact with new people?)
- Enhancing friendship skills (Does your child do well in math or academics but lacks the ability to create friendships with peers? Does your child speak or behave in a unique way that inhibits their ability to create relationships with others?)
These topics and more will be covered throughout our program, as well as during the ‘breakout’ sessions. Too often, children and young people with these specific diagnoses fall through the cracks as they are ‘too challenged’ to be seen as typical and ‘too advanced’ to receive the type of help/guidance they need. We want to help you and your child get the direction and answers you are looking for.
You Will Learn To:
- Create a warm, playful rapport and connection between you and your child, and with other family members, friends and teachers
- Build your child’s communication, language, social interaction and enjoyment of people
- Increase your child’s motivation and cooperation
- Utilize effective autism teaching techniques to enable your child to achieve specific educational goals
- Be the most effective facilitator and/or program director that you can be by creating and sustaining an attitude of hope and optimism, believing that autism recovery is a possibility, staying focused and inspired, and taking care of yourself
- Adopt a nonjudgmental and optimistic attitude towards your child
- Become an effective resource for your child
- Overcome everyday challenges