Intentional speech…persistent, yet patient

I was in the shower when I heard knocking. I though it would be my other kids but surprised it was Nathan. Still skeptical if he was actually knocking or just stimming and tapping on the door, I asked, “Who is it?” Nathan echoed, “Who is it”. I tried to answer in a way that would help. “Is it….NATHAN?” I coached. “Nathan!” He answered accurately!

“What do you need Nathan?” I continued our conversation through the closed door. “You want banana?” He asked. He still gets his pronouns mixed up, but correctly saying pronouns is a social skill that is achieved 2 stages ahead of the current son-rise social developmental stage that he is on, so we’re not in a rush to fix that until he is more ready.

I answered with a task for him, “Mama is still taking a shower, can you go to Ate Juliet in the kitchen and ask for a banana?” I then heard Nathan walking away saying, “Ate Juliet, give me banana please.”

A few minutes later I heard the same knocking. I asked “Who is it?” Nathan insists, “Mama, I want banana please.” Maybe Juliet did not hear him because we usually keep the kitchen door closed. I asked him to try again saying that Juliet has to see his face when he’s asking. Nathan walks away again with a louder, “Ate Juliet, give me banana please!”

After my shower, Nathan already spoke to Juliet, got his banana and was satisfied!

Imagine that! Three years ago, before we found The Son-Rise Program(r), Nathan could not even tell us that he was hungry. He was 5-years-old back then and had no intentional speech. He would use tantrums, even aggression, to try to communicate his needs and we just became good to figuring him out.

Today, Nathan not only tells us exactly what he needs, he can be very, very persistent and yet very patient while requesting. What an amazing journey it has already been. The future is exciting for us!

Blessed with The Son-Rise Program(r)!

In the photo Nathan eating his most favorite snack, bananas!


Her Weaknesses have turned into her Strengths!

When Amor was a toddler, she had hearing sensory issues. She would always freakout with the sounds of the vacuum cleaner, public toilet hand dryer and even an electric toothbrush. Son-Rise had greatly helped her overcome it! There may still be a bit of lingering sensitivity, in the sense that she can hear a conversation on the other bedroom that we normally would not notice. But that’s what’s amazing. Since it does not bother her anymore, she can use it instead of hate it. If she wants to, she can use this unique talent and work as a spy or work for NBI when she grows up 😉

Since Amor could not hear songs the way we do, she naturally could not sing them correctly. She was so out of tune and her melody was so off. Nevertheless, I always cheered for her! Despite her hearing issues, I was so happy that she kept singing. Practice has truly made her singing perfect! As she has been overcoming hearing issues, her singing voice has developed beautifully! The greatness of her voice and her eagerness to sing, always gets her to sing solo in most of her school events! Yep, her determination can get her to be a great singer, if she wants.

Amor has a speech delay. At age 3, she could only say a handful of words. Today, though she can engage in meaningful conversations, she is still not at par with her peers. However, she has an amazing ability to pick-up several languages. Last night she was singing the Chinese version is Frozen’s “Let it go”. She picked it up from YouTube and I’m pretty sure it was close to accurate. Back in Japan, she would response to our Japanese translator in Japanese! I had to ask and was told her answers were always appropriate. She also picked-up lots of Japanese from her classmates and used them appropriately. Here in Singapore, she quickly adapted to Singling. At home, she can translate what my husband and I are saying in Filipino. She has a potential career in Linguistics!

She’s only 8 and already I know whatever she chooses to do in life, she will be amazing at it!

We are so blessed to have found Son-Rise. Us seeing everything she does as beautiful, and not as a handicap, has certainly helped her overcome many challenges!

God has blessed us with Amor!


Son-Rise Program support in Singapore

– our kids with Autism look at us with a sparkle in their eyes.
– strong eye-contact soon follows.
– our pre-verbal ASD kids speak for the first time.
– verbal ASD kids start to converse.
– speech explodes.
– our kids come closer to hug us spontaneously.
– our kids express their desire to play with us.
– we hear our kids say “I love you” for the first time.
– our kids become spontaneous.
– or kids become persistent.
– we discover our kids have a great sense of humor.
– our kids crave social interaction.
– as social skills is developed, the foundation for learning is created.

Learn more about it. Several Son-Rise Program® families will be sharing their experiences. They are all at various stages of their Home-Based Son-Rise Programs and implementing it at various intensities (i.e. from no fixed hours/lifestyle application only, part-time program to full-time program). All are seeing amazing progress in their children with autism! Can I just say, two of the Son-Rise moms who will be sharing, are medical doctors!

Come join us:
The Son-Rise Program Question and Answer Forum
April 11, 2015
3:00 to 5:00pm
SCWO, 96 Waterloo St., (S) 187967

Register for this FREE event at:

In the photo are Son-Rise Program® families in Singapore with Raun K. Kaufman


Ease at the playground

Bringing Amor to the playground is getting so much easier for me!

Initially Amor would grab all the kid’s toys, scooters and bikes and shout, “MINE!” Guess how many kids must have hated her?

It took so much son-rise powers out of me to get some kids on our side and help her. I told them that they could help Amor be more polite by demonstrating politeness. Sure enough, as more kids became more patient with Amor, she would put down her defenses/settle her sensory issues and the sweet little girl in her would emerge. As for the other kids who were not onboard…well, we didn’t need to make friends with everyone or please everyone 🙂

Just this week, we were at the playground again and for that day, I didn’t feel like trying to control the world around Amor. I decided I would watch from a distance and see how she “fends” for herself. I was also ready to accept consequences, even a possible heartache,from someone bullying her, running away from her, ganging up on her, or telling other kids, “Don’t play with her!” or “Dont talk to her!”…Yup, we have experienced all those at some point in the past.

So I sat back and watched Amor run to grab a scooter. With my eyes ready to roll, I told myself, “Oh boy, here we go again.” As predicted a girl came to rescue her scooter, hands on her hips, with a strict look on her face. I was too far to hear their exchange of words. But instead of stubbornly running off with the scooter, Amor dropped her hands and walked away. I think my jaw dropped when I saw that. Amor has always been stubborn enough not to care who owned the scooter and just run off with it. But wait…Amor walked back towards the scooter, held it and observed the owner come back with the same hand-on-hips and grin on her face. Woohoo!!! my daughter is not only learning, but also experimenting on reading social cues. She’s accurately reading social cues and making her own fantastic decisions on how to respond! From the reaction she got a second time, Amor decided to let go of the scooter and walk away permanently! Woohoo that’s my princess!!!!

So much progress in such a short amount of time! I know it’s because of Amor’s “weekend” Son-Rise Program(r)….or I should call it “daughter”-rise program 😉
Because we have friends who come over to love and play with her and build relationship, Amor better understands the concept of friendship and what friendship is not.

In the photo is Amor trying to climb the monkey bars, inspired by watching the other girls climb.


So simple yet so blissful

After helping Nathan up the school bus, I had a small chat with the driver who said that Nathan has improved a lot and so has his twin sister, Amor.

I turned to look at Nathan and he said with an big smile “Bye-bye.” I gave him a big hug and blew him a kiss as I waived. He blew the kiss right back at me!

Wow! More than a year ago, the bus had to urgently leave as soon as Nathan is seated because he couldn’t understand waiting and would tantrum, even threaten to bite. Though at that time, he started saying “good bye”, his interactive attention span was not long enough to blow me a kiss. But today, it all seemed so simple for him 🙂

Life is good!

Understanding concepts

I’m so fascinated at how well Nathan has been expressing his understanding of concepts. He says:

I want water. Are you thirsty? (Translation: I am thirsty)

I want a snack. Are you hungry?

Look o. All the kids like it (scripting probably from school. Then, few minutes later:)
Can you see, all the children like it.

Unlike nouns, I was never sure if Nathan understood concepts like: hungry, thirsty, look and see. Apparently, he does.

Amazing how all in one day, so many concepts, well understood, are mentioned by Nathan!

More spontaneous language

Amazing how spontaneously Nathan is picking up words :-). He has been asking more detailed requests.

Like, when I didn’t put enough meat on the spoon, in his next bite, he asked, “I want BIG meat.”

When his hands were slippery with shaving cream, he held the swimming cap (ism toy) and asked, “I want to PULL (open) please.”

Adjectives and verbs are hard to teach to kids with autism. Unlike nouns, it’s not easy to show them on photos. Kids with autism might look at big-small flash cards and say “elephant-mouse” instead. When Nathan used to look at “pull” flash cards, he used to say, “wagon!”

But now he understands and can demonstrate that he gets it!

That’s today’s miracle!

Comprehending books

As they flipped through the pages of this book, Nathan asked his volunteer to find a specific story or find a specific page. He also sang a song relevant to the story he was looking at. In so many ways, Nathan showed us that he can really comprehend this 6-in-1 story book!

Who would have thought we would get this far, this soon?

A year and a half ago, when we first started with our son-rise program, he had no intentional speech. All Nathan would do is get a book, flip the pages near his lips and feel the breeze it made. His son-rise volunteers would sit across him and join him. They would do this for hours, days and months. It was our way to connecting with Nathan, speaking his language first before asking him to speak our language. During those first few months, Nathan emerged with strong eye-contact, which paved way for more social skills like this.

We have a long way to go, but we’re certainly on the right path.

Loving our son-rise journey!


Sharing my Son-Rise journey in Singapore

I have always been excited about telling people the good things that The Son-Rise Program has brought for my son with autism, and most of all for me, a parent who used to be so worried about my child’s future.

Our son-rise journey has made life with autism a blessing worth sharing.

If you live in Singapore and want to know more about The Son-Rise Program, come to our talk on Sept. 1, 2013. See attached photos for details.

To register go to:



I’m sitting in a coffee shop eating my sandwich with a knife and fork. You might think: crazy! But if you joined me for a few minutes and had a bit of chat, you will realize that I am wearing braces and they just got adjusted. So it really is impossible to tear this sandwich with my teeth.

JOINING. That’s the exact principle we use when we son-rise kids with autism. Because we have been “joining” Nathan, we have learned that it really is fun playing with a slinky; that if you put an object in your mouth and tap, it’s much louder than if you tap away from your mouth; that when we keep repeating words it helps us memorize the word itself and it’s function faster, etc.

Because we have invested more time understanding Nathan, he has become more comfortable with us and more willing to share his thoughts and bond with us.

Now, back to trying to tear up my sandwich.