Most of the professionals that are involved with our son seem to have heard about it but they only seem to have a vague idea about what it is all about. The only thing they know is that it involves intensive one-to-one interaction. However, the Son-Rise programme is much more than that.
The Son-Rise programme was developed by Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman after they helped their severely autistic son, Raun, to recover and lead a normal life.
It is a 1-1 therapeutic modality to help your child develop and grow in an environment where the cornerstone is love and acceptance and the primary focus is on socialisation. It is parent-directed where parents are seen as the child’s best resource unlike other therapies (such as ABA), relationship-based and child centred.
The programme is based on a volunteer network who works as a team to enable more time to be given to a child through the talents and personalities of the different volunteers. The programme is run in the Son-Rise playroom which is designed to be as distraction free as possible and act as a human greenhouse to nurture and grow your child.
The Son-Rise Development Model
The development model is based on the fact that there are 5 areas of development that need to be met for you to be a socially successful child/adult, and includes:
- Self-Help: Toileting, feeding, dressing etc
- Cognitive: Maths, reading, reasoning etc
- Social curriculum: Eye contact, communication, Interactive Attention Span, Flexibility (the Son-Rise 4 Fundamentals)
- Gross Motor: Limb mobility & co-ordination balance etc
- Fine Motor: Hand/eye co-ordination, sensory perception etc.
Son-Rise believes that autism, at its core, is a neurological challenge where children have difficulty relating and connecting to those around them. For this reason, the Son-Rise program focuses on social development (no. 3 above) as without a child having these skills [or the 4 fundamentals (Eye contact, communication, Interactive Attention Span, Flexibility) as they call them] then their ability to learn the other development areas (i.e. no 1, 2, 4 & 5 above) will be seriously hampered. It therefore follows that once the child is successful in the 4 fundamentals they should then easily be able to develop in the other areas, but that the first focus should be social interaction.
Son-Rise has a social curriculum which bands your child from stage 1-5 reflective of how successful they are in the 4 Fundamentals. When a child reaches stage 5 of the social curriculum this would be equivalent of a neuro-typical child of the same age and the point when we would start to re-integrate Imaan into school, hopefully mainstream.
To go through the stages, goals are set for each of the fundamentals so that everyone working with Imaan is working towards the same goal. This is obviously the ultimate aim with Imaan.
We have both attended the Start Up (January 2010) and New Frontiers (June 2010) courses. Both courses were 5 day programmes and equates to a total of 70 hours, intensive training by the Son-Rise teachers from the Autism Treatment Center of America (Home of Son-Rise) in Massachutes, USA.
Here are some AMAZING practical strategies that you can apply straight away with your child. These strategies can be applied to any kid regardless whether they have autism or not.
And here are some answers to some FAQs about son-rise.