Hi, my name is Gillian Graham and I have been running a Son-Rise program for my son Ethan, aged 9, for the last five years thanks to Patricia Logan, Oscar's mum. She was so fired up after the Start-up in 2005 that I started a program with Ethan and attended the Start-up in 2006. Ethan was totally withdrawn, non-communicative and very unhappy - and I was in despair. He spent his time lining up Thomas the Tank Engine and friends or running round and round in circles for hours and was absolutely terrified of everything ( all of this naked)!
We have been on the most amazing journey over the last few years and, like all of you I'm sure, some days felt that we would never leave the playroom. We joined for months on end without any response but then very gradually Ethan began to open up - initially only for a glance and then very gradually for more each day. But after some great help from the Son-Rise team in two outreaches and over the phone we learned to really accept and enjoy being with Ethan and the last few years in the playroom have been really fun. I remember very clearly a fabulous helper ( and we've had loads) who joined in the first year - she came every day for three weeks and read the same story book over and over enthusiastically for two hours each time - after the three weeks he started to respond - last month he went to see her get married, took photos and got his taken with her and said to her "Looks like you'll be with him forever then!" He is fabulous!
We have just returned from holiday in France where he swam and met a new friend at the pool, went on a canoeing trip with his brothers, spent a day on an outdoor climbing trail and had a great laugh at just how scared I was on the zip-line! He is really chatty and great fun and attends mainstream school part-time where he has made some great friends. One of the most lovely things is that Ethan and Oscar are now friends - today Patricia and I drank tea and chatted while the boys played and chatted - totally unimaginable a few years ago.
We are still running our program and Ethan continues to amaze and delight us every day.
Wishing you all lots of fun in your program.