Today is Day 6 of our week long series on The Best Therapies for Children With Autism. Today's highlight and focus is on The Son-Rise Program at the Autism Treatment Center of America.
The Son-Rise Program is very unique from any other treatment in the amount of time and effort they dedicate to helping parents as well as children with Autism. I think this is very important and that is why I have included them in my top 7 treatments. It is important to address the fact that parents are undergoing significant amounts of adult trauma from the difficulty and emotional pain associated with an Autism diagnosis for their child.
The first person to experience the Son-Rise Program was the Kaufman's son Raun. Raun was initially considered to be "severely Autistic and mentally retarded with a very low IQ." After the treatment devised by his parents, Raun ended up with a very high IQ. By all accounts, Raun, who is a fully grown man at this time, is living a normal life. This is a very inspiring story.
The Son-Rise Program advocates the concept of the parents and volunteers working a large amount of hours a week in a one-to-one fashion with their children with Autism. The Son-Rise Program also advocates an idea called "joining," which is cooperating with and imitating the child's initial interests, no matter how restrictive those interests seem to be at first. This is a good approach because it involves starting with the child on his or her level.
Many children are reported to have improved with this method, although these reports of improvement are primarily anecdotal and not fully research based. My opinion is that there are elements of this treatment that are unique, creative and effective. It would be reassuring if there was more research behind this therapy. I think parents should look at the Son-Rise Program to see if there are elements of it that could work for their child and their family. For more information see http://www.son-rise.org/.