Green Lights: What They Are, and How to Build on Them

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Green Lights: What They Are, and How to Build on Them

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Green Lights: What They Are, and How to Build on Them

We are so excited to share with you some useful tips about how to help your child follow your invitation to play!

In The Son-Rise Program, we joyfully invite our children to play with us only when they have given us a Green Light, or a collection of Green Lights. Remember when you are assessing your child, essentially you are considering if your child is offering Green Lights or Red Lights.

Here are examples of Green Lights: 

Your child looks at you, comes toward you, touches you, smiles when showing interest in you, look toward the shelf of toys, and/or makes a speech-like sound or says something clearly that you are going to quickly respond to.

Here are examples of Red Lights:

Your child is involved in and focused on a repetitious and/or exclusive activity. If your child is higher functioning, in addition to exclusive activities, they may speak to you in rigid and controlling manner that does not allow much room for you other than to listen or give the answer that they are passionately seeking.

Offering something fun to your child only when they give you a Green Light will help ensure that they are strengthening their skill of initiating and sustaining connections with other people. If you interrupt the ism by offering something during Red Lights, then it goes against important aspects of your program. For example, unintentionally you come across as not very user friendly or predictable and as a result, your child may need to be more controlling around others. Another result of interrupting the ism is that your child may become reliant on needing to be prompted to engage with another person. For example, they may be lining up toys and you are requesting for them to look at you blowing bubbles, instead of looking at their toys. Although they may show some interest after you interrupt, you are not giving your child a chance to practice being spontaneous and initiating interactions with others.

Now that you are super sharp at assessing the difference between Red and Green Lights, let’s talk about some fun thoughts of what to DO when you get that GREEN LIGHT so that you can invite and inspire your child to be interested in playing with you!

Your child gives you a GREEN LIGHT
CELEBRATE YOUR CHILD
OFFER SOMETHING FUN

WHAT TO OFFER

Build up your child’s desire to play with you by offering something very fun for them to watch and eventually participate in. We call this action Building on the Green Light in The Son-Rise Program.

Current Interest – When you are joining your child’s ism, consider what your child is motivated by in this activity.  When you get a Green Light, you can increase their interest by responding in a big way. For example, if your child rolls balls down the slide a few times and then she looks at you, say “WOOO HOO! I love it when you look at me!” and then throw the balls you were using to join your child all over the room. If your child likes to talk about the ages of all of his relatives and when their birthdays are, when you have a longer pause you can say, “I love that you are sharing this with me,” and then pull down a puppet and pretend the puppet is Grandpa – and sing Happy Birthday to Grandpa.

Past Motivation – Equip yourself and your team members with an overflowing motivation treasure box. After each of your sessions, you and your team members can write down what they think your child was interested in about the games that you played. If your child watches you blow bubbles for 1 minute, bubbles is a motivation. If you cluck like a chicken when the chicken puppet eats the bubbles, then chicken clucks is also a motivation. Tape this list of the last 2 weeks of motivations on the door of your child’s playroom so that team members have bountiful treasures to offer your child.

Do Something Fun to Watch – We have found that our children, no matter what age or where they may be on the spectrum, are really into compelling cause and effect, and silly slapstick humor. Have fun and just do the first thing that comes to your mind!

HOW TO OFFER

Take Action – Take action versus asking a questions. Make certain to use props and make yourself interesting to watch. Stock your shelves with puppets, bubbles, musical instruments, hats, balls, masks, ribbons, etc. Try dancing all over the room while blowing bubbles and singing “You Are My Sunshine”. Learn 10 different character voices, learn 10 songs, learn how to juggle, etc. Do something unexpected that incorporates slapstick like walking into a wall, pulling 10 scarves from your sleeve, making a puppet burp out fake food, etc.  For our higher functioning children who like to talk about their favorite movies, video games or books, you can bring their topic to life by becoming the characters. For instance, print off images of their favorite characters, then act out these characters.

Use the 3E’s – When you make your fun offer, do it with Enthusiasm, Energy and Excitement! Again, use your body, your voice and your celebration to express your joy and that you are fun.

Try your fun offer for at least 15 seconds and then assess if your child is showing more interest in you, or if they have gone back to their ism. Consider offering the same idea a few times before moving onto a new fun idea. This way we can give our children enough opportunity and time to show interest in our fun show, and then eventually ask them to participate in some way.

SUPER SUPPORTIVE THOUGHT AROUND BUILDING!

GIVE GIVE GIVE more of what your child seems to be motivated by so that you can support building a bridge for them to come your way for longer and more frequent periods of time. Once they are motivated then we can request from them.

Sometimes your children will not show a sustained interest after they give you a Green Light. Don’t take it personally. It just means your child needs some more time to regulate in their ism.  Often in the beginning of a child’s Son-Rise Program, they may only play 30% of what your offer.  There is no loss in this though. Remember, even in that 15 second window you and your team are showering your child with love and joy in your celebration and giving a snapshot of other people being delightfully playful.  One hundred percent of your Builds are planting seeds for your child’s future creativity and confidence in being with other people.

Source: https://blog.autismtreatmentcenter.org/2017/08/green-lights-what-are-they-and-what-to-do-when-your-child-gives-you-one.html

Have any questions? Ask an Autism Expert

Contact us for a complimentary priority call with a Son‑Rise Program Advisor & free Autism resources.

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Dear Donor,

Jeannie Reid was searching for answers to the challenges she and her family were facing. Jeannie and her husband Stuart’s son, Carson, had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition on the Autism spectrum. For Carson that meant being completely involved in obsessive behaviors and only using minimal words to identify objects, as well as frequently and completely melting down.

Soon after, Jeannie found the book, “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues” and when she read it, she KNEW she had found what she was looking for. She began using some of the Son-Rise techniques described in the book on her own until she was able to come to The Autism Treatment Center of America for the Son-Rise Program Start-Up. As she put into practice what she learned there, Carson’s world was opening up. Today Carson is attending a Montessori school as a 'typical' student and functioning at or above typical grade level, being fully verbal and conversational, and very interested in learning about the world and interacting as much as possible with other people. He is even taking swim lessons at the local YMCA and doing great!

“It has been wonderful to get, and stay connected with other people and Son-Rise parents from all over the world. My son’s progress had already come very far, but now I truly believe we can go all the way!”

Jeannie wrote.

Stuart Reid then attended the Empower Yourself course and brought home a new sense of clarity, balance and personal power. He shared his new empowerment with Jeannie and she in turn gained in confidence, strength and enthusiasm. Their own relationship began to flourish anew, as well. Life-altering changes were happening for Jeannie and her family.

Jeannie journeyed again to Sheffield, this time for the Fearless course at The Option Institute to help her recognize and overcome her personal obstacles. Jeannie wanted to continue her amazing journey as she had found using the techniques she learned in The Son-Rise Program and in Fearless had absolutely changed the lives of everyone in her family.

But, because the Reids’ finances had been seriously stretched by then, their next steps were put on hold. Then an amazing event changed everything. Jeannie’s college roommate and lifelong friend decided to start a Son-Rise Program scholarship fund for people from the Cleveland area. Since then Jeannie has been able to move ahead with her courses, taking Radical Authenticity, Son-Rise Maximum Impact and Son-Rise Wide Awake ... and eventually she became a Certified Group Facilitator.

Jeannie Reid’s story is about wanting BIG and making it happen. She is about to embark on her renewed private practice as an art therapist, and plans to be a super advocate for The Son-Rise Program in her area. Her wonderful new life is a product of her persistence and belief, and of the wheels she helped set in motion for others when her friends learned of how she and her family had been impacted by The Son-Rise Program.

“I know I will be able to give back by helping others, and that will be the top of my personal mountain! Thank you to everyone who donates! You are making a big difference in the world!

Jeannie Reid

 

Dear Donor

Two years ago, Antonio's kindergarten teacher told us something was not quite right with our little boy. He was not socializing, he somersaulted all the time and hardly spoke at all. At the time I was working for a municipality close to Florence, Italy and basically I had nothing left after seeing to basic necessities.

In the meantime, I looked up Autism with Google and as I was also looking for happiness and personal growth, I was guided to The Option Institute, thence the Autism Treatment Center of America. I read up as much as I could and started trying to apply the “Happiness is a Choice” suggestions. I'm not quite good at it but it has helped me with attitude, and everything else that seemed trying is really different after all this.

When I decided to come for The Son-Rise Program Start-Up, I really had little or no money to pay for it. I spoke to my friends, old and new. My mother helped me, friends I thought couldn't [help] tried their very best and the scholarship did the rest.

What the scholarship did was give a HUGE boost to my fundraising. About six friends contributed the rest, at the travel agency a very kind lady who I may now call a friend helped me some more. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. Here I am, happy to have attended the Start-Up program and looking forward to learning more and praying to God for guidance.

So the gist of the matter is, I am a happy mum who hopes to implement a wonderful relationship with her child and is riding a not so easy moment with lots of hope in her heart and THANK YOU is not enough for what I feel. I still remember William's words, “If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.” Now I'm trying to do different, bit by bit, day by day. I feel the difference already.

About Antonio ... we are going on with the Italian program and I play with Antonio after school in a quiet room in the house. Knowing what the little guy is exposed to (he's always putting his fingers in his ears and he seems to have problems with too much light in his eyes), I find him very brave as he bears it tolerably. Drums a lot to digest it all.

When we went to the doctor, just weeks after starting the program at home, she told me that she found him more attentive. His attention span has increased. He is also tagging or pulling at one's arm when looking for attention. The child psychologist last Saturday reported the same thing and what's more, my son has always required that I enter the room, hence assisting in every session. Well, this time he went in along with the doctor and told me, “See you later.”

At school, his teacher who speaks English as well, read up and watched my DVD (Kyle’s Journey, Jade and “I want my little boy back”). Now she's changing, bit by bit and I do appreciate that very much. He seems to be OK with her and actually sent me away from class this morning, again telling me, “See you later.”

He is now ONE HUGE GREENLIGHT and I'm hoping to be able to really have volunteers (still looking), raise funds and settle down to business.

God bless,

Jackline

 

Dear Donor,

I am the mother of three children, all on the Autism Spectrum. Before I heard of the Son-Rise Program and the Option Institute, I was a desperate, angry and depressed person…. I was on Anti-depressants, sleeping multiple hours of the day, and for a period of time, using alcohol to run away from my pain.

Then I heard of the Son-Rise Program. I called to find out more about it and thought “this if for me!” But I could not afford it. You see raising one child with Autism is very expensive but raising three is just outrageously expensive with all the therapies and dietary interventions that we were doing.

But I was offered a full scholarship to the SRSU program. I have since attended all of the Son-Rise Programs and many of the Personal Growth programs offered by the Option Institute.  Each time I have been given a scholarship and each time I go I learn more about who I am and I change for the better each and every time.  Because of your most generous support, my children are recovering from Autism, I have found happiness in my life!  I am no longer on anti-depressants and I have so much more energy.

YOU are the reason that my family is in recovery. It is because of YOU that my oldest son now is enjoying school.  YOU are the reason my second son is speaking. YOU are the reason my daughter is no longer as rigid and controlling as she once was.  Thank you does not even begin to cover how much gratitude I have for you.  I thank God every day for you and I do not even know you.

Please know that you are changing lives with your donation to ATCA and the OI.  It is because of you that every day people are getting the help that they need. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

With so much love,

Kerry Rihtar

 

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