In working with a child with autism, the most important factors are:
- unconditional acceptance of where the child is at, without expectation or condition (This of course is a difficult task!)
- joining the world of the child by participating and mimicking the same actions and behaviours of the child in order to get the child to notice you, show an interest in you and promote mutual eye contact
- the more eye contact and the more there is a mutual shared experience of life and of the 'world' around, the more a 'relationship' can build
- all learning and all motivation for learning and growth takes place inside a loving relationship
- without relationship, the brain cannot be re-wired or be re-connected and learning becomes impossible
- autism is considered a relational disorder more than an intellectual disability
- the key to healing is the ending of isolation through deeper loving contact with another person/other people, thus motivating the child to come into contact with the world around them without fear
This approach is the opposite to ABA. 'Stimming' is self-soothing and should be permitted not discouraged. Not only that, but parents may join in the stimming, imitate the stimming and become a part of that aspect of the child's life in order to build a deeper bond. Trusting relationships reduce terror and fear and can encourage true growth. The level of trust that a child with autism needs to have in his/her parents is on a completely different scale than one usually has between parent and child due to the degree of existential terror that is present in the child, And many of us are still only learning how to create such trust. The belief is that parents who have feelings of great love for their child and who will do anything for their child, advocate for their child, devote themselves to the child are the best 'experts' a child could have working on their behalf. Physiotherapy, speech therapy, all sorts of therapies ...many parents feel utter despair at not being able to get state support in providing these to their child if they cannot afford these things privately. Many parents will drown themselves financially trying to get the necessary helps for their child. They do not realise, that their own personal efforts can produce radical results far beyond a qualified therapist. The Autism Treatment Center run programs to help the parents to run their own 'program' and put a support system in place.
In Ireland there are a handful of couples who have sought out help from SonRise for their children and experienced incredible results. SonRise run training programmes in the UK and also provide some financial support to those of limited means. I am so astonished that more people do not have awareness about it. Sometimes I even wonder, are these types of empowering ways forward even suppressed? Because there is a whole 'business' that springs up around disability of any kind...therapists, centres...they all need to be paid and funded. The average parent will need a huge amount of help from the State or need to fight constantly for rights that are basic to all other children. This battle drains away precious energy that could be used for deep healing.
But this is a path that involves tremendous commitment and hard work. The parents are the ones who do the most work. Parents' circumstances in life vary hugely and many are under intolerable pressure..financially, emotionally and will just not have the resources to do this work. But even just grasping some of the main ideas and putting them into practise is enough to make huge strides forward..The Autism Treatment Center do 'webinars', have videos and tons of information on their website. Homeopathy can support parents on this journey, by giving remedies to increase personal vitality, energy and levels of well-being. To give remedies to aid with depression, despair, discouragement and apathy. Homeopathy can empower a person in a myriad of ways......families with autism need empowerment. They don't need to hang their heads or feel they have been sucked into a world of 'I can't" and "it's not possible" and "If only..."
The SonRise Programme is essentially Homeopathic in principle. War is not waged against a 'condition'. It is not 'opposed' or 'moulded' , 'reshaped' or 'medicated' or 'drugged'. Homeopathy is holistic, always looking for the particular individual and tailoring its approach to that specific person. It is gentle, goes with the flow, joins in the body or soul's own intelligence when it comes to dealing with challenge and finds an opening within the challenge not moving away from it.