I have some good friends with an Autistic son who are using the Son-Rise program to great effect. They've suggested I check it out many times, and here I am!
My daughter Bella is a bright, sunny child who appears confident, inquisitive and 'normal'. She's not quite four and a half, and she is developmentally delayed but we still do not have any formal diagnosis. It's possible she has a form of Developmental Dyspraxia, mostly we simply say she has 'learning difficulties'. It's very hard to explain to people, but essentially she has processing difficulties which are most obvious when it comes to speech and language; her gross motor skills and her retention of new concepts, or difficult/abstract ones. I think she has issues in other areas as well which she simply masks. I wonder sometimes if she might have a form of Aspergers or something because although she is very social and possibly the opposite of many children using the Son-Rise program, she is often socially inappropriate. She has no social fear or shame (which is a safety risk, eg she recently began talking to a strange man and quickly asked him if she could sit on his lap) and I struggle to communicate with her about how to behave socially.
We are finally getting some help, with a speech therapist seeing her for an hour fortnightly and she's just started physiotherapy for an hour a week, which will run for about 6 weeks - but it's a big struggle to get anyone to recognise her difficulties. We hear a lot of 'We see much worse.' and 'You would get help and funding, but she's not as bad as other kids and they need it more.' Most people simply tell us 'She'll catch up eventually.' She's expected to start mainstream school (really the only option where we live) and we'd love her to start at 5, like other kids, although we've been told she might not be ready then. It's unlikely she'll get a support worker to help her at school.
We want Bella to be ready for school, and more than that - to be able to cope with school and keep up with the other children. It takes Bella a longer time to learn new skills - for example, Bella was still unable to jump with two feet at 3 and a half. We took her to gymnastics, she attended a physical activity program run via her daycare and we worked at home - a few months later she was bouncing around like a bunny. I know she's capable of doing so much more than she is now, but is Son-Rise able to help us in specific areas of development?
I'd love to hear from some parents who've used Son-Rise for non-Austistic children, or higher-functioning kids, and any other feedback people might think helpful.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
Alexandra from NZ