Our son Lucas was diagnosed with regressive autism (meaning he developed normally and in a short period of time began to regress or lose skills previously mastered) when he was 4 years old. He had a host of health issues that took us 2 years to uncover with the right doctors (Scott Smith, Arthur Krigsman, David Shepard, Mary Coyle). These were doctors who were willing to look past the autism, see the symptoms and perform the necessary tests. Without these handful of doctors, our son would still be in constant agonizing pain. We are so thankful for their open minds and compassion for our child.
We are happy to say that we are finally reversing many of the health issues with the the treatments we have done over these past 2 years. We truly thank God for leading us to the right doctors and treatments! When Lucas was diagnosed, we did train heavily in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and have worked with Lucas on his cognitive/social skills along with the prescribed Occupational Therapy (for self help skills and develop muscle -hypotonia), physical therapy and speech therapy. Although these therapies helped develop more language and independence, we found that Lucas became very robotic in his every day activities and to an extent, less social and more withdrawn.
Since we had finally made some major progress with his health, we were ready to look for a program that really looked at the social development of children with autism. We have always felt that autism is a social-relational disorder and not a behavioral one. The behaviors are only a result of their inability to make connections and effectively communicate with people and their world the way a “neurotypical” person does.
This is when we found the Son-Rise program. It’s model fit everything we were looking for. It emphasizes acceptance, love and really appreciating/embracing every attribute of your child including their autism without putting limits on their potential. The idea of this program spoke volumes to us. We have been told so many times…..”There is not much you can do,””You can’t change him,” “Don’t hope too much,” “Take it day by day”, and a host of other statements that we found insulting. We have always believed in our son’s potential to break through those barriers and do amazing things. We only want to give him the tools that every “neurotypical” child is given in order for him to reach his full potential, whatever that may be, with no caveats or ceilings put on him.