The person who has walked this road before

It used to be so challenging taking Amor out due her difficulty transitioning and tantrums whenever she didn’t get her way. But she has grown so much. Today it is such a pleasure taking her out on dates!
Last night, because Raun Kaufman is back in Singapore for the Son-Program® Start-Up 2016 and because Amor is date-ready, she got to join us grown-ups for the kick-off dinner with the Embrace Autism and Autism Treatment Center of America (ATCA)Teams.  

What a treat for Amor be with her Favourite Son-Rise person in the world…and a treat for me to listen to Raun, the first Son-Rise child fully-recovered from autism, chatting with my Daughter who’s on her way to recovery via the same road that Raun took, Son-Rise! 

Life is a blessing!

Celebrate what you have today

Be thankful and celebrate what you already have and not what you’re hoping to receive in the future.
This is one of the biggest gifts that I have gotten from Son-Rise®.

I celebrate, not the idea that Nathan will recover from autism in the future, but all that he is capable of doing already…

…when he was completely oblivious to everyone, I celebrated the strong eye-contact he gave me as soon as I tried the simply Son-Rise technique of joining. A second later, I celebrated the beautiful smiles he gave me. Few more seconds later, I celebrated the amazing laughter we exchanged. Minutes into our laughter, I thought, all those past years of therapy trying to “reach” Nathan, and all it took was one Son-Rise step to finally feel connected with Nathan! Major celebration!

…I celebrate the bite mark on Nathan’s right arm because it’s the only remnant of the violence and aggression he had when he was younger. When he was 4 and 5 years old, I was covered by his bites marks trying to protect his siblings from his aggression. Today he can better sense his body and when he feels something brewing inside, he bites his arm, regulates himself and allows the storm to pass! How awesome is that?

…when I though he would forever be using crazy language or scripts from TV, I celebrated when first he said “[I want] cookie.”

…after 3 months of celebrate all his “I want [all sorts of food]”, Nathan said, “I want to touch the water” (in the river), I celebrated like crazy! He said something that didn’t have food as the motivation!!!! 🎉

…when I get back home and open the door, I celebrate that the first thing I usually see is Nathan smiling right back at me!!! 😍

…when I thought he didn’t care, I celebrated the first time he looked at his crying Sister then put his arm on her attempting to make her feel better. She rejected 😜 but hey, Nathan did so well trying!

…when I though that no body else would be able to love this strange boy (which was fine, I would fill that void by giving him all the extra love that he needed). I came to celebrate the fact that volunteers came to learn about Son-Rise and how they could help Nathan…people came to love my child with autism! What a blessing!

…when we play a semi-echolalic game of questions and answers, I celebrate the fact that this smart boy is using this game to get a good grasp of how grammar works and how he can form his answers after a question is asked of him!

…when he “stays with me” in a game for 2 minutes or event 2 seconds, I celebrate as much as I would if he “stays with me” for half an hour!

…when he withdraws from a game and decides to go back into his world of autism, I celebrate that he knows when he needs a break from the difficult challenge that I give him to flex his social muscles.

I celebrate, not only what Son-Rise has done for Nathan but what it has done for me. It has opened my eyes to all the goodness that life has to offer! Count your blessing and so much more will pour!

Celebrating our way to recovery! Praise God for healing!

In the photo: celebrating our good morning games. Sometimes Nathan likes to get into my bed in the morning…best way to wake up! I had to capture that moment.

My Neurotypical Son, Ian

What does the success of my neurotypical son, Ian, have to do with the recovery journey of my twins? 

When I was pregnant with Ian, Nathan was still not walking and I was prepared for life-long therapy. I was prepared to dump my profession and take up a new profession as therapist of my twins. But I though, poor baby Ian would have to fend for himself. I knew Nathan would need so much more of my time than Ian. I thought I wouldn’t be able to help Ian grow to his full potential. He would have to settle and be an average kid in school….and so I thought.

Thankfully, along the way, we found Son-Rise® that helped us not only effectively help Nathan and Amor to continue stepping out of autism/GDD. Through Son-Rise we found the most effective ways of motivating our children to love learning. We celebrated their efforts (and not just successes). Lessons and skills learning came in fun games and not as tasks to be finished. It was so effective we didn’t need to drill our kids with exercises to retain lessons or become smarter. 

I still spend the least time with smart boy Ian, but our Son-Rise parenting has helped Ian reach limitless potentials! He does not have a tutor, he does not go to kumon, I don’t help him with his homework, I don’t drill him to do exercises…I just celebrate all his efforts, big or small. He’s happy to do his homework and exercises on his own. 

Son-Rise has certainly blessed not only my twins with special needs need but my whole family! 

In the photo: Ian and his latest award in school. Excellent behaviour and determination Maths! How awesome is that!

When “change” messes up everything

I went to the last day of Amor’s horseback riding. Towards the end of the event, she was getting upset because of a change in what she was expecting to happen.
Last time, I brought her home after horseback riding, this time she was upset that the routine changed. Instead, she was going to take the school bus back to school and I wasn’t coming with her. But instead of expressing her thoughts, she chose to be what we call “ponsy Amor” (being in her baby brain or pons on fight or flight mode). She would hit me, throw her snack on the floor as a sign of protest, sit with her shoes on the table…anything to get my attention and maybe even instigate me. 

Poor Amor. I told her I loved her even when she was being ponsy. Saying “I love you” helps me remind myself to center myself so I can best deal with the situation. It’s more for me than her. She would oscillate between hugging me then doing something ponsy again. It seemed like an internal battle she was dealing with.

Tonight at bed time, she narrated everything that happened in the morning. She clearly knew that she was being ponsy and trying to get my attention. She also remembered that I told her that I loved her, even if she was ponsy. 

Since there was more opportunity to use words, and we were in the calm environment of her dim-lit bedroom, I guess she was able to dig deeper into their thoughts about that event. She finally said, “I feel like a number 1, sitting alone on the bench. I feel lonely.” She began to cry then she hugged me and cried it all out.

Amor is generally a tough babe and not a cryer. So I know those words hit her at her core. I hugged her and told her that I was so proud of her for finding the right words to express how she feels instead of using ponsy actions early in the morning. I told her that if she could have expressed that earlier, maybe I could have given her a hug for as long as she needed before getting her on the bus back to school. Maybe she wouldn’t have needed to hit me or be ponsy….Next time…

Many years ago, before Son-Rise®, I would see Amor’s behaviour and it drove me crazy! I resulted to scolding her…and giving myself heartache. I didn’t understand that she had issues with her overpowering sensory issues. There may have been few moments when scolding made her stop and follow me, but for the most part, it made her even more ponsy.

Life has been a blessing. I’m blessed with the confidence of knowing that we are on the best path to help her overcome ponsy!

In the photo: I’m lucky she chose to smile for the camera when asked… as soon as the camera was gone, she chose ponsy again to get my attention 😄

My twins are so opposite

Nathan found himself in the deep end of the pool. Before reaching him, I watched from a safe distance, modelling for him to breath once he got his head up the water. He took a breath before he sank, touched the ground then kicked to get his head up for his next breath. He looked relatively relaxed so I watched him repeat the sinking and breathing three times before offering help. That gave me assurance that he can some how help himself if he finds himself in the deep end of the pool when I’m not watching.
After seeing how relaxed Nathan was, I invited Amor to see her response in the deep end. She is generally confident in swimming…so long as she knows her feet can touch the floor. But she panicked at the deep end insisted to hang on to her kick board and that I pull her back to the shallow end.

Nathan was born with Cerebral Palsy and hypotonic muscles. Even in life’s instances he is low tone and generally relaxed…sometimes more like oblivious 😄. Amor was born with spastic/hypertonic muscles, even small sensory inputs results to large and rigid muscle movements. In life, she always has big, exaggerated responses.  

Thankfully we have been doing Son-Rise® , which has dramatically helped Amor with her sensory issues, rigid personality and to become more relaxed. On the opposite end, Son-Rise has also helped Nathan be more in tune and responsive to his environment and the people around him. 

Not the best photo but here are my twins happy to be swimming in the weekend!