A new theory… 

A friend texted me yesterday morning with a question. She asked me if I’ve ever heard of the “Son-Rise Thory?”! I admit that I hadn’t, but was intrigued by the title. So she shed a little light on it for me, and this is what she said:

 A cure for autism? So I dug a little deeper. And found this on YouTube. Take a minute to watch this three minute video. Don’t worry… I’ll wait.

What do think? Honestly? This can’t be real… can it? I mean… this almost seems too good to be true. Am I wrong in thinking this? This seems like an incredibly powerful entity in and of itself, but at the same time, it reminds me of the old saying “if you can’t beat em, join em.” Right? 

But once the astonishment left my body, and the giddiness subsided, I thought to myself, if this therapy is so ground breaking, than why am I just hearing about this now?  Why has this form of therapy never been mentioned to me by any doctor or therapist that I’ve encountered within the past few years?!? You should know that I am that kind of parent; that if something is as ground breaking as this could help my child have a better life and and an even brighter future, than you better dam well believe that I’ll be there in a New York FREAKIN minute! 

I can’t be wrong in thinking that. You’d be thinking the same thing if this was your child. Right?

I have a dear, dear friend who took her son to a Chinese herbalist, tried reflexology, eliminated gluten, dairy, artificial colors and flavors from her son’s diet, AND got rid of the wifi in her house, JUST because she’s a mom that would do anything to help her child’s autism symptoms feel less consuming to her son. Now THAT is a mom going the distance. I mentioned this theory to her and she had never heard of it either. So I guess I’m not alone and in the dark after all when it comes to this new theory. 

But back to the Son-Rise theory. 

As I was doing my research, I read that the Son-Rise Theory its a parent-led program with parent facilitated activities. For the most part, the parents are their child’s personal manager and trainer.

“A parent trained in the SRP is able to implement the principles and techniques inside and outside of the playroom, intensifying the child’s immersion in a responsive, socially enhancing environment.”-www.autismtreatmentcenter.org

As I continue to read, I was maneuvering the website looking for a catch. It’s homebase is in Massachusetts, but it’s mention of ABA was scarce. I consider myself to be an extremely open-minded person, but as a parent of a child with three different disabilities, I could easily see myself drinking the Kool-Aid in a nano-second. I mean, watching my son stim and struggle to find words when he’s feeling upset, angry, sick, or uncomfortable, is heartbreaking. My six-year-old child still uses his hands to express how he feels in a difficult situation, and having to explain to other people why my six-year-old just hit their child because he’s having a hard time sharing… well… it still kills me inside. I still feel the ridicule and the judgment of other parents sometimes, and I noticed that it’s not going to go away anytime soon. I even get looks from non-parents. 

I’ve yet to ask my child psychiatrist about what he thinks of all of this, but I think I might give him a call just for giggles and Hahaas. I think he might be amused by this, and do some research himself. He’s that kind of guy. 

So now that I’ve opened up a can of worms. I’d like to know what you think about all of this. Do you think that joining in on your child’s self stimulation, in order to earn their trust to pull them right back out, is an OK thing to do? Would you go through the Son-Rise program training in order to “save” your child? Do you think that this is too good to be true? 



4 thoughts on “A new theory… 

  1. Hmmm, that’s interesting because it was one of the first “therapies” I read about when I was researching what to do. My twins are ten and they still “use their hands” to express themselves. It is very hard the bigger they get.
    I have only read the original book and visited the website but I think that it makes a lot of sense. We are constantly trying to pull them into our world our way of doing things without knowing exactly where they are or why they do things the way they do. Also we put more stress on our kiddos since we do know that they are processing things differently but we are trying to teach them with the very methods they have difficulty with. We ask that they learn about us and our world but don’t even bother figuring out what functions their behavior serve.
    My boys receive ABA and it has help tremendously but I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. In fact, I think when you look at the different methods out there you find that there are similarities. Greenspan’s floortime, TEACCH method, ABA, RRT, and Son-rise all suggest one on one approach. Each of these really do start where the child is at and builds from there. There’s even that dad that learned his son’s scripting Disney movies was really his way of communicating. He wouldn’t have discovered that if he didn’t take the time and join in. I think it’s more about getting to the core of the child. Really getting to know them.
    Now do I think a person has to spend thousands of dollars trying to learn this method. Maybe not. For me I found the information on the website and the book as well as other parent videos useful. I have not read Raun Kaufman’s book yet but I probably will. Right now I’m starting “Uniquely Human” by Barry Prizant. I’m sure there will be more theories in there. I have found the Autism Discussion page on Facebook to be very useful too.

  2. I have a lot of well-meaning friends and family sending me links for things that are said to “cure” autism or eliminate its symptoms. I, like you, read them over, first with excitement but then with a healthy dose of skepticism. The word “cure” is a HUGE red flag for me!
    When my son was diagnosed at 20 months, my husband and I were willing to try anything, so long as there was no possibility of it harming our son or causing him stress. A therapist who had been trained by Son-Rise and was getting a degree in ABA needed families for a case-study for his version of “play-based therapy”. So we signed up! It sounds just like the video above. He helped us create our own playroom and taught us techniques for interacting with our son. But our son was very different from the boy in the video. Our son had visual stims, but he was (and is) a sensory seeker – his body constantly in motion, running, jumping, crashing, etc. We joined in his play and incorporated other movements like swinging him and dragging him on a blanket, which he loved. It definitely helped us build a relationship.
    The downside was that too much movement causes over-stimulation for our son. We had to limit his time with this therapy in order to prevent meltdowns. And although we had lots of those hugs and giggles you saw in the video, it was NOT a cure. My son still has autism. He still is non-verbal. We cherish the relationship-building skills the therapist gave us, and we consider it one of many “pieces of the puzzle” that is our son’s therapy.
    I wish this video had not skipped the many, many years between the toddler and the teenager. I would bet he received many other types of therapy along the way.
    That was our experience anyway, and in all fairness it wasn’t the official “Son-rise” program but a similar play therapy based on “Son-rise” and Greenspan’s “Floortime”.
    Thanks for opening the conversation!! 🙂

    • You are most welcome. I agree with you. I wish the video didn’t skip either, but I’m also having a hard time believing that that’s the same kid. I mean he seems absolutely and completely typical… As did most of the other videos that I watched. There are so many theories and programs out there just waiting to be discovered. And I’m sure they all claim to do the exact same thing. I don’t know if there really is a cure for autism, but like you I’d probably do almost anything to find out.

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