Using Complementary Therapies With The Son-Rise Program
Since its inception over thirty years ago, The Son-Rise Program has always viewed each child as unique and special. With this in mind we have recommended a host of complementary interventions to the families we have worked with in order to best support them and their child. There are many complementary interventions that can be enormously helpful for children on the autism spectrum. Indeed, many parents include these interventions in their Son-Rise Program, which we wholeheartedly support. Since many children on the spectrum have biological, sensory, and other challenges, we advocate helping these children with any area of difficulty. In fact, doing so can accelerate and enhance the progress occurring within a Son-Rise Program.
Avoiding Conflictual Techniques and Therapies
However, when other therapies which contain techniques that are directly conflictual with the principles of The Son-Rise Program are used, this hinders the program’s effectiveness and confuses the child. Applied Behavioral Analysis [click here to see the differences between ABA and The Son-Rise Program], for instance, utilizes techniques which are almost universally in opposition to those of The Son-Rise Program, such as attempting to extinguish repetitive behaviors, prioritizing behavior change over relationship-building, and teaching new behaviors through repetition and rewards. Even relationship-based treatment programs such as Floortime/DIR [click here to see the differences between Floortime/DIR and The Son-Rise Program], which some have claimed is very similar to The Son-Rise Program, is conflictual to the basic principles of The Son-Rise Program. Floortime/DIR utilizes a principle called being “playfully obstructive,” where the facilitator playfully gets in the way or interferes with a child’s repetitive behavior so that the child must interact in order to get the facilitator out of the way. As you can imagine, if we sometimes ‘join’ a child in his or her repetitive behaviors (as prescribed in The Son-Rise Program) and at other times stop the child (ABA) or attempt to obstruct the child from doing those behaviors (Floortime/DIR), we are not only confusing the child, but also undermining the most fundamental rapport-building centerpiece of The Son-Rise Program. This means that we are taking a child with a social relational disorder and further undercutting that child’s ability to feel safe enough, trusting enough, relaxed enough, accepted enough, and interested enough to reach out and relate to us more. As an additional note, Son-Rise Program providers have in-depth attitudinal training as key part of their training so that our methods will be utilized with the utmost love, respect and celebration of the child. We support including complementary therapies in any Son-Rise Program, but we do not support adding pieces of other conflictual therapies which undercut the foundation of the program, its goals, and the child’s sense of safety, trust, and motivation. Below is a list of some of the therapies which we have seen to be complementary and supportive of a child’s growth when using The Son-Rise Program.