Dedicated to our Japan Son-Rise Volunteers

We’re moving from Japan to Singapore in 2 months. We’re going to miss so much in Japan, especially all the folks who dedicated so much time for Nathan. Thank you so much. You will always be part of Nathan’s miracle story:

Tito Mart has been volunteering for Nathan even before I went to the Son-Rise Start-Up seminar. He has seen both Nathan and myself mature in this process. Tito Mart has taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. His own patience inspires me to move forward and take each day a step at a time.

From day one, Annette instinctively knew how to deal with Nathan. I loved her soft and gentle voice as she sang to Nathan or showed him an imaginary world. She gave him so much attention yet never expected for anything in return. But Nathan did want to give back. Nathan would always stop what he did to take a look at what Annette had to offer him. Short glances soon turned into interaction and expressive communication.

Marie is the sweetest! She had such pure intentions…to simply play with Nathan and never to force him out of his comfort zone. Truly the son-rise way of doing things! And Nathan feels her intentions and shows it. Marie is the the only volunteer Nathan greets with hug, with no prompts whatsoever.

Just when I was thinking of strategies to move forward with our son-rise program, Priyanka would be there to verbalize my thoughts or ask the right questions. I love the way she studies her own sessions with Nathan and always tries to figure out how to make it better the next time. Furthermore, Priyanka is really good at observing and listening to Nathan. And Nathan knows it! Nathan expects Priyanka to listen to every word he says. If she dares misses his words, he will reach for her lips as if saying, “Hey Priyanka, that was your cue…say it.”

Jack is Nathan’s youngest volunteer (10 years old) and it is precisely his age that helps him understand Nathan better. What amazes me is that despite his age, he makes so much wise decisions. This was evident the first time I met him. He came up to us as soon as we made the church announcement seeking for son-rise volunteers and he immediately knew he wanted to do it! Also, when playing with Nathan, Jack knows to follow his instincts and give Nathan what he wants.

Tin’s is a story of giant leaps. When she first volunteered, she was unsure of her abilities with children but wanted to help. She tried the first few times and thought about her decision twice (maybe more?). But one day, to my amazement, Nathan just looked so comfortable with her. He went ahead and interacted with her asking her to get him toys several times. It was as if all barriers fell and Tin dove into the very same waters she was afraid to thread in few days prior. Her story shows me how much our spirits can accomplish in such as short amount time. It’s the same kind of leaps Nathan amazes us with.

Tito Edwin is really great with children. If he was a cup of energy, his would be overflowing and I would be catching all the excess and keeping some for myself! There would probably be so much excess, we could pass it around! Nathan loves that energy when they play.

Tala was a new volunteer few months into our son-rise program. At that point, Nathan’s speech had increased and I was ready to push his progress even further. As a result, Nathan shied back into his autistic world. Thankfully, Tala reminded me to simply enjoy joining Nathan and trust that, on his own motivation, he will take big steps. That truly is the best way to go. Nathan enjoys being with Tita Tala and “teaching” her his world of textures and sounds. Tita Tala shows him she can be his perfect student.

One of the bothering signs of Nathan’s autism was when he lost the Father-Son bond. But this whole son-rise process has brought it back again. There nothing more exciting than watching father and son play together! It took a year of slow regression for Nathan to lose interest in Papa. But it took only a few months to regain it! And every day their bond gets better and better!

Monica started volunteering for Nathan before I attended the Son-Rise start-up seminar. At that point I could only give her basic instructions from the information I learned online. And mixed information from other autism therapies. Nevertheless, Monica always had things figured out and always managed to find Nathan’s motivations and engage him.

Hana also volunteered before my son-rise seminar. Though she did not stay until after I attended the seminar, I truly appreciate her willingness to volunteer as soon as I asked her. A lot of regrets I life are not about the things that we did do, it’s about the things that we did not do. I know Hannah is the type that will have few regrets in life.