This statement is such a reflection of our continuing Son-Rise journey with Lucas. At our May team meeting, I asked my team members to write down two things: 1.)The biggest difference they have noticed in Lucas since the inception of this program in September 2014 and 2.)The biggest impact or change the program has had on them individually.
The biggest change was unanimously that he is now continually happy and joyful, and that he has a pure love for interaction and people in general! Doesn’t even sound like a child with autism, does it!? By joining and celebrating Lucas, we were able to enter his world, on his terms and at his level and he most certainly crossed that bridge into our world in the process.
The biggest impact this program has had on my team is the ability to be present in every moment in the playroom and also being able to transcend that ability outside of the playroom. Being present and full accepting of a person shows a kind of love that speaks volumes to all people.
In the video below, Lucas is most certainly joyful!! : ) One of our goals was for Lucas to verbally participate in an interaction. You will see in this video, his direct role in this and the fun he is having with another person. He tells her, “up, carry, run, faster, down,” etc. His language has become so much clearer, direct, purposeful and more importantly playful and interactive! You will also notice how my volunteer continually celebrates him throughout the interaction.
This is the fun of this program. These goals are so seamlessly woven in and become motivating in themselves to Lucas because he is telling us he is ready for them. I remember previous to Son-Rise being on the same social/play goal for months, even over a few years and not meeting them.
We had worked on greetings previously for 2 years and it was almost always robotic, painful and many times reward-driven. He now says, “hello, goodbye, hey, good morning, good night, see ya later, etc.” and it is meaningful and with intent every time! That veil of autism is slowly coming off, layer by layer, and it is because of the power of our team to reach inside themselves and pursue Lucas’ world that this is happening!