Monkeys on the wall

We went to the playground and saw some monkeys. So I pointed them out to Nathan. 
Nathan looked and said, “I want to touch the monkey.” He walked towards the last monkey. Nathan even climbed the wall insisting to touch the monkey.
I was keeping a safe distance and telling Nathan that wild monkeys with food are very dangerous.

I’m just amazed. When Nathan was younger, I used to point out animals and other things we saw at the park, excited to teach him about the environment, yet my words always seemed to fall on deaf ears. I’m just happy I managed to get a photo of Nathan and monkey.
  

The-day-after-training-syndrome.

Do you ever feel excited about trainings and so much acquired learnings, but the day after comes and stress emerges from thinking “I learned so much, how am I going to implement everything successfully?” I call that the-day-after-training-syndrome.
I love trainings. I feel I gain years of wisdom simply by listening to people who have lived and learned so much from their years of experience…then Monday, comes.

We just finished an intensive weekend outreach/training with awesome Son-Rise® teacher, Gerd Winkler! Gerd has worked with and witnessed countless children with autism recover via The Son-Rise Program®. There was much to learn and we’re excited about it. Everything that Gerd recommended really resonated with my parenting style and I was in tears knowing those were the right steps to help Amor to one day be integrated into a regular school. (This outreach was primarily for Amor this time).

Now, the more important, but may be the hardest part of the whole training…the implementation.

I took the Monday morning off to take a walk and think about all the things we have to do. That Me-Time was very productive! At the end of all the thinking, I was able to breakdown tasks ahead into more manageable sizes:

1. Everything easy to do – we start today! Example: using a real clock, play clock and a timer, which were all readily available at home, to teach Amor the concept of time, help her transition from one task to another and to help her in turn taking games.

2. Everything that takes many action steps – would be put in the calendar. Example a great next step is recruiting and coaching another child to be a Son-Rise one-on-one playmate for Amor to help her move from parallel play to more interactive games. 

Just marking key steps on the calendar lifts a heavy burden that I was feeling from the-day-after-training-syndrome. In fact, all that thinking has brought me from being stressed to being confident that all the tasks ahead will be easy and achievable! All it took was a mind shift.

Life is a blessing!

In the photo: Amor was excited to show Gerd the playground. Gerd coached us in the playground, getting the the other kids involved in helping Amor share the swings. At the end of the session she was sharing. I even heard a girl ask Amor if she wanted to play with them.

  

Back to health 

Amor had fever last night. She is well tonight with just a bit of cough. 
I know her health has picked up tremendously with all the diet and alternative medicine interventions we have been doing for her and Nathan.
Her health deteriorated when she was 4 to about 7 years of age, when she had seizures and was under medication. Her seizures were triggered by medicines she had to take for her primary complex diagnosis, or MIS-diagnosis. A diagnosis I agreed with because the doctor didn’t explain that her BCG vaccine will alway give a false positive result. Amor was very sickly during those years and couldn’t even fight off simple colds. 

But her health is as strong today, as she was as a toddler, the way it should be. During her “healthy years” she used to get fevers for one night only and it never bothered me because I knew she was a fighter.

Praise God for healing.

Hugs at last

As I played with Nathan today, I realised how much more he wants to connect with me. He now puts his arms around me and even pulls my head towards his, so that I can give him infinite kisses 😘😘😘.
Ever since, I couldn’t stop hugging and kissing Nathan, even if he didn’t want any cuddling. In fact, in that past, my over-hugging helped him learn to verbalise his needs: “Free me please.” At that time, he needed more space and distance, more than any human affection.
Imagine from being so disconnected, Nathan now craves my hugs and kisses. I am blessed so mightly!

In the photo: Nathan, arms around Mama and tugging to get my kisses 😘 ❤️❤️❤️
  

I, the parent, have recovered

Nathan, was 5 years old when we first embarked on our Son-Rise journey. Soon after I came back from my first Son-Rise training, Nathan made so much progress. He started to talk, he started to point, he gained strong eye-contact and he started to connect with us…at last! I was so excited. He did so great that I thought that “I” could recover Nathan in a couple of years, faster than any other Son-Rise Programs in history…😄 nothing wrong with ambition 😄
Through the years, I wanted people to see the progress that I saw in Nathan. When friends and family visited, I would be so excited. I would even prep-up Nathan. I would make him sleep well and eat well. I would prompt him to greet people and say things or do things so that his progress with was made more evident.

Reflecting about why I did such things: I guess I needed to feel rewarded for all the “sacrifices” that I have made. I wanted to see measurable progress 

Last week friends came over for a prayer meeting. Lucky I was too busy preparing the house that I didn’t even think of prepping Nathan and boasting to old friends how far he has gone.

The night came and Nathan did as he wanted. He jumped with excitement as visitors came…and continued jumping and shouting long after they have settled. Some people might say “Why is he still excited?” Or “What’s funny Nathan?” He grabbed food from visitors’s plates. Without needing to explain to visitors, I just told Nathan that he did a good job targeting and getting what he wanted. He climbed on the table and I celebrated his strength and courage. He shouted his “autistic” words. And I echoed and shouted his words back to him, which made him laugh and say his crazy words again and again for me to echo back. When that was not enough for him, he asked my friend to shout autism language with him. And I coached her to do so, which made Nathan so happy. Nathan wanted more. He asked Tita “Other” to echo, because he couldn’t recall her name. It was crazy autistic yet so fun seeing how happy Nathan was.

I realised it’s wasn’t that important for me that Nathan does his best performance and act more typical. What was more important is seeing Nathan happy in a crowd.

Finally, I, the parent, have recovered! I have finally let go of my need to see him like a typical child.

When we first embarked on this journey, all I really wanted was for Nathan to know that I was right here loving him, even if he didn’t look at me, even if he didn’t respond to his name, even if he had didn’t know who I was, I just wanted him to know that I loved him. Son-Rise has allowed me to “reach” him and show that I love him.

The prayer meeting night was an opportunity for me to show him how much I deeply loved him, the way he is today, perfect with his autism, and not for who he will be tomorrow.

Yes, I have truly recovered.

I’m sure many will ask so I will go ahead and answer: No, I am not ending Nathan’s road to recovery here. I feel that letting go has allowed me to widen his road, making it much easier for him to journey forward.

I learn about loving Nathan from knowing how God loves me, complete with my imperfections. With knowing the immense love given to me, I have been blessed with so much more strengthen and endurance to journey forward.

In the photo: Nathan decided he wanted to be in the middle of our prayer meeting even if it was past bed time. Amor wanted the same but she went ahead and made herself comfortable.