Busting the “red light” but he’s ok with it!

In The Son-Rise Program®, a key to helping a child, is recognising red lights (when child wants to withdraw into his autism) and green lights (when child gives the go signal and is ready for social interaction).
Today, Nathan has been so verbal, he’s actually able to say when he’s on green or red light.

As he finished eating his snack at the dining table, he invited me, “I want to play with Mama in the bed room.” That’s a super strong green light! Though he has gestured his invitation to play many times before, this was an exciting, clear, verbal invitation!

It was so fun, he was asking me to sing a Japanese song (he was in a Japanese special needs school in 2012). Though I recognised the song, I couldn’t recall the lyrics….but he did and he re-taught me the song! At one point he asked me to put on my tarsier shirt. That’s a shirt he requests for when I know he’s ready for more games and is willing to keep engaging with me. Strong green lights! And so we kept playing! 

After about 45 mins, he asked me to take off my tarsier shirt….that usually means that Nathan is telling me, “time to stop, I’m withdrawing back into my Autism now.” …Red light.

I changed my shirt but I was having so much fun, I kept playing with him. He looked sleepy and but was nice enough to keep laughing at my massage and silly games….until he finally said, “Mama go away please.” Flashing red lights!!! 

I couldn’t get a better photo…but here he is, trying to be alone and nap…while crazy Mama tries to get a photo so she can blog about this amazing incident 😂😜
Let me recap:

1. He verbally, clearly tells me exactly what he wants. He didn’t have intentional speech when we started this journey.

2. Even if he didn’t want to play with me, he will still nice about it. Busting the red light, especially a sleepy red light used to result to major tantrums, but this Son-Rise kid is growing-up to be such a polite young man! 😘

We are so blessed by the gift of God’s healing! 

Happy New Year everyone! I know it will be an amazing year ahead! 

Her Rigidity Is My Opportunity 

In a crowded bus, I was busy tucking Nathan’s seatbelt until I heard a commotion at the back. Amor was making a scene. Folks wanted to sit next to her but she insisted that the empty seat was for her doll 😅. Yes that’s the attention-grabbing Daughter, whom I love 😂.
I used to dread such moments, in fact for many years, I preferred no family outings because it felt like a source of stress rather an avenue to release stress. If it did happened, I would have rolled my eyes and passed the dice, A.K.A stress to Papa to handle…if he would accept it and not pass it back to me 😅

But I’m a different person today. When I see irritable Amor, I think “Opportunity!” This is a chance for me to move and speak calmly so that when I explain reasons why things are not going her way, she will be more open to it. This is an opportunity for me to explain social situations to help her understand that in public places we want to be pleasant to everyone…just as everyone is pleasant to us.

Sure enough, Amor listened to my reasoning and allowed me to sit next to her while her doll sat on her lap. This could-have-been-stressful situation was soon turned into a bonding moment and opportunity for me to celebrate how fantastic and flexible she was and allowing things to go my way instead of hers.

Photo: me and my princess in the crowded bus.

It’s all about me

The easiest part of this journey is realising that it has nothing to do with my special needs twins and everything to do with me.
When I change the way I see them: beautiful and perfect, the way they are with their autism or global developmental delay, then it changes the way I interact with them. When I am more accepting, I can better demonstrate my love for them. Let God do the rest. What I have seen from this important lesson is my twins blossoming into the most loving children.

In the photo: Me and my perfect twins! Amor didn’t want to smile…if you can’t beat them, join them!

I love you already

Because I have Nathan, I feel happy seeing children/adults with autism.
Last week at the grocery, there was a young man who made a brief sound. I turned to look and saw him playing with his french fries and sauce before taking the bite. I knew he had Autism. The love that my Nathan has instilled in me wanted to go up to him just to say, “Hello, you don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I just want to say hello and that I already love you.” I also wanted to talk to his Mom and invite her to get to know how The Son-Rise Program® can help her…

…but I’m human and at that point, very shy and afraid of what his mother’s reaction might be. I almost let that opportunity pass.  

I looked at him a little longer…probably trying to gather guts or decide to approach them or let it pass…

His mother’s back was turned towards me so I had enough time to look and decide if I wanted to approach them…at this point, I was already feeling like a stalker 😅

Then I realised, his Mother is a Son-Rise Mom too, who just attended the recent Son-Rise Program® Start-Up in Singapore!

Yes! I was able to approach the young man, say “hello” and even give him a hug! Then catch-up with his Mother and her Son-Rise Program! I’m just happy to be able to talk to another person with autism. I know that, even if our special kids might not respond the way we expect as a social society, they appreciate our attempts to connect with them.  

What a blessing to be able to reach out to him. What a blessing to be part of the Son-Rise community and Embrace Autism, building a loving Son-Rise community in Singapore! Because the Son-Rise community is growing, I am able to approach these kids, and even for a brief moment, be able to send the message “I love you already!”

In the photo: The Embrace Autism Team with Raun, Kate and Kaycee after the Son-Rise Program® New Frontiers Training in Singapore. 😘 I have been blessed by this amazing people! 

Sharing needed attention 

After lunch, Nathan sat on my lap so I gave him endless hugs and kisses. Ian got jealous so he hopped my my lap too and asked me to squeeze hug both of them 😇
I love when Ian tries to get the attention he needs without depriving Nathan of his.

In the photo: Nathan decided to sit on my lap while waiting for everyone to finish their lunch. My dose of happiness for the day is when Nathan actively seeks me.  Ian then asked to hop on and get his dose of joint squeeze hugs…I can do this until my babies are 20 😉

Everything she does is pleasant

The other day, Amor caught me wrapping a shirt.
Amor: What’s that?

Me: It’s Christmas gift for your Son-Rise volunteer. Don’t tell him what it is ok. It’s a surprise.

Amor: Ok. I’ll give it to him later.
After the Son-Rise session with her volunteer whom she fondly calls “Silly Z”:
Amor: I have a Christmas gift for you. It’s a surprise.

Silly Z: Wow, I’m excited.

Amor: It’s a shirt 

Me: Ah! 🤐 Never mind 😅 😂

Nathan welcomes Grandfather 

Grandfather, Lolo Hermie, is here to stay with us for Christmas. When the door bell rang and the kids were told that Lolo was here, Nathan’s face lit up and he walked to the door to greet Lolo. If he could run, I’m sure he would have!
Nathan made sure to get all of Lolo’s attention before allowing him to unpack and rest.

As soon as Lolo was in the bedroom, Nathan asked to lift his shirt so that Nathan could tap his jelly belly 😊 that’s his favourite ism 😂

Our beliefs become us

Pre-Son-Rise, I couldn’t understand why it took so long for Amor to follow my instructions, especially when we were outside. I always needed to raise my voice to make her follow me. And I wanted it done immediately!
I couldn’t understand why she was so “stubborn” (at least that’s how I saw it). I was equally baffled, when her teachers kept reporting that she was behaved in school. “Was I a terrible Mother who couldn’t control her own daughter?” I feared. I hated that feeling so I kept on looking for evidence of Amor being stubborn to her teachers at school. Don’t tell anyone…but I found so much relief when one day, her teacher told me that Amor was being difficult that day. “Alleluia!” I thought, “I’m not the crazy one, Amor really is a difficult child! It’s not my fault!” But that didn’t work out well. The more evidence I tried to find…the more she became difficult for her teachers and everyone else, for that matter.

I created a self-fulfilling prophesy. We hold on to beliefs that are useful for us. Then our beliefs, through our actions, become us.

Praise God, that I was led to this Son-Rise® journey and really understood what was going on:

– Amor has sensory issues so changes in her environment, i.e. just going outside, bombarded her. Thus she was more irritable, and had difficulty following instructions.

– “Stubborn” was not something Amor was intentionally doing to give me a hard time. She was always trying her very best all the time to cope with bombarding sensory stimulation.

– Knowing how significantly she is affected by her sensory issues, I can better help her shift her brain from “fight or flight” mode (from sensory stimulants) to “recovery mode” via Son-Rise.

– Regardless of how my children behave, I know I am a good parent with good intentions for my children.  

It has been an amazing journey! As I collect evidence of her goodness, Amor is blossoming to the sweetest and most caring child. The truth is, the Son-Rise journey has helped me, the parent, so much more than it has helped my children.

In the photo: Me and my love, Amor, on our happy journey of so-called life!