Q&A session 6 with the Director of The
Son-Rise Program®, Bryn N. Hogan.
Topic: Husband's Involvement
Q: Dear Bryn,
My name is Heather Frank, Cammy's mom from The Rotterdam
Son-Rise Program® Start-Up.
Cammy is almost 3 and a half, diagnosed with High Functioning
Autism/Asperger's. Thus far, we are still working in
a playroom in progress. The shelves are finally up,
mirror going up tomorrow and various other equipment
almost ready including the two-way mirrored door. My
son found the room on his own and we have no trouble
going in for 2-3 hours every afternoon. We plan to change
this to mornings when I return from the Maximum Impact
in March, as we will try to get volunteers to work in
My trouble is getting my husband involved. He is very
supportive of Son-Rise, and it is his research that
found the medical doctor in Atlanta which we believe
will work to heal all of Cammy's physical impairments.
However, he is only available to work with Cam in the
morning, as he returns from work after Cammy is in bed
and thus far, it is me getting out of bed to get the
day started. During the weekends, he is getting more
active with Cammy, but generally I give him all of the
meals, all of the games, tickles, interaction with my
husband along for the ride. Not only do I want them
to develop more of a relationship, I need a break!
I have mentioned this a few times, but I guess I need
more coaching on the best way to approach him.
Any help you can give would be most helpful. Hope all
is well with you and your family and looking forward
to seeing you in the coming weeks in Sheffield.
A: Dear Heather,
Firstly, I am so excited to hear that we will have the
chance to be with you once again in March, at the Maximum
Impact Program - how exciting! This program is so powerful,
and in my experience, parents return home even more
empowered and excited about their programs, so we will
see you very soon.
Your main question is about how to help your husband
become more involved. As you might imagine, my first
suggestion would be to take a moment to examine your
attitude (smile). As we spoke about in The
Son-Rise Program® Start-Up, our attitude
affects every action we take: the way you talk to your
husband, make suggestions, look at him etc. It would
be very useful to ask yourself some questions about
- Are you aware of feeling annoyed or agitated with
- Do you feel frustrated with his lack of involvement?
- Are you aware of "pushing" him to participate?
I suggest that you consider each one of these, and
perhaps others, and take some time to explore your feelings,
so that when you do speak with him and deal with this,
you can be loving, kind and accepting. (We know this
works with children...guess what? It works with big
Once you are feeling relaxed, you could also consider
that your husband is absolutely doing the very best
he can. You are doing the best you can, Cam is doing
the best he can. We all are. Perhaps you could take
some special time - in the evening, when Cam is in bed,
go out to dinner - and take some time to just really
share with him what you want, why and suggest that together
you could possibly brainstorm ways he could become more
involved. It would be very useful to ask him questions
as he speaks so you can gain a better understanding
of his thoughts and feelings and perhaps help him to
become more comfortable with working with Cam more.
You could also suggest that he do a Consultation with
one of our own Son-Rise Family Trainers. We would be
happy to spend some time with him on the phone and perhaps
help with any questions or concerns he might have. Also,
when people feel they would want their spouse to be
more involved, oftentimes if they can come and attend
The Son-Rise Program® Start-Up , the experience
really helps them to become more excited and involved
in the program. Why not send him here?
You also mentioned that you want a break....then take
one! This journey with your son is not a sprint, it
is a marathon, and it is really important that you take
care of yourself so that you have the energy for the
long run. It would be useful, even if it results in
less playroom hours for Cam, for you to take time for
yourself. Also, getting volunteers would really help
with this, in numerous ways. You would then have other
people to be with him at different times so you could:
nap, exercise, read, cook, shop etc. You would have
a group of people who share your perspective who could
offer you their support and enthusiasm at times when
you may be more tired. At one time, while doing my Son-Rise
Program® with my daughter Jade, I
became very tired....I realized, that I was not taking
the time necessary to re-energize my batteries. So I
took action, I changed my work schedule, I slept more,
I started doing Yoga, and yes, for a period, I was in
the room less than I had been. Ah...but I got my energy
back and now I am in the playroom with such passion
- and it was really worth taking the rest. In addition,
I now make sure that I get enough sleep, eat well etc.,
so that I can keep my energy up! You can do it too -
it's all about being motivated. You have to be as motivated
to take care of you, as you are to take care of Cam.
Most important to remember is this, you are doing the
best you can. You love him. That is what is most important,
more important than how many hours you do in the playroom,
or what new toys you introduce ...your love for him,
Heather, that is all you require.
And that you have, in abundance.
I hope this was helpful for you.
Excited to see you in March,
Bryn N. Hogan
I hope that as the weeks
progress, I will have ample opportunity to answer all
the questions from everyone who is wanting support.
For me, this is another rare and unique opportunity
to offer our support and guidance to those who want
help. Thank you all for making this exciting exchange
possible through your participation. Please know you
can contact us by telephone to speak to a staff member
if you have more questions. Call us at: (413) 229-2100
Intro to Q&A Session
Syndrome and Milk
The Son-Rise Program®
in the Classroom
Autism and the Effects
and Communication Challenges