Being a parent is truly a gift, but I don’t think anyone will argue that the role doesn’t come with challenges. And parenting a child with autism sometimes comes with its own unique set of challenges. They might come in the form of, for example, extended tantrums, toilet training difficulties, hitting, trouble going to bed and/or getting up in the morning, and not willing to eat or try new foods.
If you’re familiar with Kyle’s Treehouse, you may already know that The Son-Rise Program was the treatment Jen and Jeff Westphal pursued for Kyle. It’s a home-based option that is designed to help children dramatically improve in all areas of learning, development, communication and skill development – in a fun and loving manner.
So if you’re looking for help on:
How to toilet train without pushing or pressure
Introducing new foods without a fight
What to do when your child tantrums, hits and bites
How to introduce tooth brushing, hair cutting and getting dressed in an enjoyable way
There are so many therapies out there for autism – it can be overwhelming, to say the least. And because autism is so wide-ranging in terms of severity, and, as the saying goes, ‘if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,’ trying to find the right kind of therapy (or combination of therapies, in most cases) can be an endless…mind-numbing…(insert your own word here!)…journey.
You have to do what’s best, and what you think works, for your child, and that is the ultimate idea at Kyle’s Treehouse. And as many of you may know, what worked for Kyle and the Westphal family was The Son-Rise Program. If you’re not familiar with the program, it was created in the 70’s by Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman to help their autistic son, Raun. It’s a home-based, parent-led structure that promotes encouragement and excitement and invites you to join your child in their world to ultimately create a bridge leading them back into ours. (From this experience the Kaufmans established The Autism Treatment Center of America, and their son, Raun–who went on to emerge from his autism–is now its Director of Global Education!)
And not only is Raun the Director of Global Education of the organization, he is also an author. Earlier this year he released, Autism Breakthrough, which is a more in-depth look at the program and why it works so well. And now it’s available as an audiobook. If you want to get a flavor for the book, you can actually listen to Chapter 2: “Joining: Entering Your Child’s World” for free – at this link http://www.autismbreakthrough.com/L/Chapter_2/.
The comparative photos below can speak for themselves, but Riley’s mom, Tania, shared how the Son-Rise program has impacted her son’s life.
Riley at 18 months old
Riley 3 years old – after Son Rise
Tania took part in the Son-Rise Program, New Frontiers, and she shared that after applying the techniques taught to her, Riley went from running in circles covering his ears at a playground to a child that is now enjoying a social life! You can read more from Tania, and other families, on the Son-Rise / Autism Treatment Center of America Facebook page.
I spent the morning having fun on YouTube. Aside from Facebook, it’s another internet site where you can “waste” time…I’m not kidding – it’s seriously addictive! I started by watching ‘The Kennedy Center Honors’ from last year, and an hour later I was asking myself, “seriously, what did I just do??”
But YouTube has its useful side too, especially if you are looking for help with your autistic children. For starters, take a look for the Autism Treatment Center of America and The Son-Rise Program. Here are just a couple of great links that can help get you started down that “geez, it’s been an hour already?” path….
(in this video, you hear a little bit about Nathan from the perspective of his mother, who’s speaking in a lovely Irish accent…)
(in this video, you hear about Jake’s recovery from autism, and Jake’s parents, Brian and Susan were also in our first Son-Rise start up and have enjoyed the same success as we’ve had with Kyle!)
(and in this video, you can see Kyle’s first ever fashion collection, and yes, that’s Kyle talking with Marsh Gay Harden!)
So you see, YouTube can be a very useful way to spend an hour, or two, or three, especially if what you are watching incredible videos filled with help and hope – you never know what will be that one message you hear that will inspire you to take bold action in helping your little youngster with autism. Log on and give it try…it’s really fun!