Postby for_dennis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:23 pm

Can anyone help me get my 14 year old son to be more willing to get involved in the Son-Rise Program??? He is PDD-NOS, very verbal, 5'9" - I'm 5'3"!! - and about 130+ lbs. We have made arrangements with the school system to keep him out of school on Mondays and Fridays to work the SRP. He does NOT like this, but I let him sleep in, thereby making sure he has to stay home with me! However, he protests mightily the day before a session, giving very logical reasons for going to school - he needs it, he likes it, nobody else is staying home like he is, etc. etc. I think he would be more OK with it if he had a companion, but those kids are in school, too! We are only just starting the Program, so I am barely getting my feet wet & not at all a pro .... HELP!!!!

Many thanks - Tracy
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Postby HelptheKids » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:06 pm

Hey Tracy! I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. My son was recently diagnosed, so I'm still new to the handling of autism and I'm just learning about the Son-Rise program.

While the Son-Rise program appears be to be a wonderful thing (and I'm sure it is), kids are obviously going to opt out against it because it isolates them from his "public school friends." Your child is going to feel like there's something wrong with him or her at first, but these things take time. If you make it clear to your child that they're wonderful and have great potential, then things will get better. From what I've read, autistic kids mature just like any other person -- they just have a few more obstacles.

Hope things work out. Good luck!
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
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If you're having trouble, get a Medical Alarm!
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Postby SusanHumphries » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:09 pm

Dear Tracy

Thank you for your post! We have worked with many teenagers who are higher functioning as your son and some do initially protest. First it is really useful to get a deeper understanding of where your son is in terms of his social development. It sounds like he is very motivated to have interactions with his peers. That is wonderful. We encourage you to carefully review our Social Developmental Model Here you can get a clear picture of what exactly you want to help him with. After reviewing the principle in each stage: Attention Span, Communication, Eye Contact, Flexibility and Perspective’s to Teach then narrow it down to 3 areas that you clearly see he is challenged in.

Consider your attitude. Why do you want this for your son? Are you excited to present it or are you apprehensive. Our children are amazing at detecting when we are tense or not fully getting behind something. Check in with yourself, are you really excited and joyful about the idea? Okay, now you have a clear understanding of why and what you want to help him with, let’s try again! Approach you son and speak to him as you would any neurotypical teenager clearly explaining why you think having some time in this special room would be totally amazing. You mention that he wants to be with his friends at school. Ah ha! We have a motivation. He likes having friends. Has he conveyed any challenges he is having in keeping friends or how to make them, does he have aversions to other peoples judgement of him? Let him know the time in this focus room is going to be a way to help in his relationships outside of the room. Make the room fun. Get to know all the things your son is motivated for! This absolutely key. Is it a particular subject, video games, or movie? Get excited about learning about these things so when he is in the focus room it is REALLY about him. This is his cools space, sanctuary, chill out spot with you and others where he gets to do what he wants.

Be open to presenting negotiations. We often negotiate with our higher functioning teens. Maybe you can present leaving the door unlocked as long as he does not leave the room, if he wants to go to school M-F then he can spend an hour after school and a couple hours on the weekend in the focus room. If he wants to sleep in then, “Sure you can sleep in until 10:00 and then we will hang out in this awesome room that is all about you for the rest of the day.” Be willing to take away TV and videos at this time. These are just ways for your child to be exclusive. Be consistent in your negotiation. Get behind it!
Once you are in the room he get’s control and joined! The room is in many ways a way for time for his neurological system to get a tune up. He will be able to get a sense of control and a clear message of being accepted for who he is then he can relax more into his environment, ultimately making deeper connections in his relationships.
Remember you can really do the attitude and techniques of Son-Rise every day in or out of the focus room. Get some inspiration of the techniques and attitude we use with our children by you watching You will also see different aged children being worked with.

Since you are going to be inspiring your son, really get behind why the room is fun. Be emphatic that this is going to be a great experience. In your post you elude to your son being larger than you. If you would, let us know the details of your son’s “mighty protest.” Here maybe we can help you in ways to handle his “mighty protests.”

We hope this is useful. Please let us know what specifically you say or do and what your son’s response so we can further support you.

With fun and supportive thoughts,

Susan Humphries
The Son-Rise Program® Instructor/Senior Child Facilitator
Susan Humphries
The Son Rise Program ™ Teacher
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Postby for_dennis » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:26 pm

Thanks, Susan -

I feel I know you now, as we were just at Max Impact and heard your good tips on Friday. We've spoken to Kim K. a few times, too!!

I have had to really rethink my approach to convincing Dennis to stay home, so I know that is an area I have to work on further. I am firm when I speak to him about it, but not always so convincing when I talk to others - I'll start by being more consistent there!!

The one main problem is that until the playroom is done (hopefully within a couple of weeks) we are working out of the living room, so it's not as interesting as i could make it otherwise - no balls, jumping, throwing, etc!! He is content to DO the program, but he is just such a sociable guy!! I think it might be time to bring in a peer, too.

Negotiating usually winds up with Dennis demanding to "do something fun" or go to work with Dad - neither can be worked in very often, if at all. We are doing more interactive & new games (I just bought LifeStories) which I think are helping to turn the tide. His "mighty protests" are just aggitated recitations of all the main reasons he feels he needs to go to school - which are all valid! He does threaten to kick the wall but hasn't yet - that's an improvement right there!I am starting to respond firmly that his days to go to school are T, W, Th. Due to the other kids - we have 4 - and our hectic weekend life style, I can't do the program any other time than school days.

I have spoken to Gerd as well since posting my initial question, so we are super encouraged and enthused now that we are back from M.I.!! Thanks for helping me out with this! I'll take all the help I can get!

Much love - Tracy
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