Practical Strategies to Apply Now

Use The Son-Rise Program to make an
immediate impact on your child!

We believe so strongly in the effectiveness of The Son-Rise Program that we are offering you a sampling of our Autism treatment strategies & principles. These autism strategies can be applied immediately to begin making a difference in the life of your special child. You can download a printable version here.
(Note: We suggest you pick one technique that applies to your child and consistently use it at every opportunity for 2-4 days.)

Autism Symptoms and Areas of Challenge:

HELP YOUR CHILD: Move beyond their repetitive behaviors (“stims”)

HERE’S THE IDEA:
  • Our children use these activities to self regulate, organize their understanding of their environment, combat sensory overload, and gain a sense of internal control.
  • These activities are very important to our children and have a purpose even if we don’t yet understand what it is.
  • Autism is, at its core, a social-relational challenge. This means that creating a relationship (which requires acceptance and demonstrated support) with our children is job number one. Stopping or discouraging what our children want and need to do disrupts the very connection and relationship we most want to foster. The good news: Our children’s repetitive activities can be a doorway to human interaction and social relationships!
HERE’S WHAT TO DO:
  • Examples: If your child is bouncing on a large ball, you bounce on a ball. If your child is reciting a scene from a movie or book, you recite the same scene (as best you can). If your child is doing math problems, you do your own math problems.
  • Asperger’s Note: If your child has Asperger’s Syndrome and is talking to you about their favorite subject without leaving you much room to speak, join them by listening to them with great interest and anticipation.
  • The key is to sincerely jump into your child’s world before even thinking about asking your child to jump into yours. Really focus on enjoying this activity with your child without trying to get your child’s attention, staring at your child, hovering over your child, talking to your child, or trying to redirect your child.

HELP YOUR CHILD: Speak (if your child has limited speech or is pre-verbal)

HERE’S THE IDEA:

  • If our children see language as both useful and fun, then they will be motivated to use it!
  • We want to send the message to our children that every word matters.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

  • Respond quickly to sounds that your child does make. When your child makes a sound (even if you are not sure they are trying to speak), move quickly and offer something, even if you don’t know what they are requesting.
  • Show that every word spoken results in an action. Teach action words and nouns associated with actions first. These words are the easiest to respond to and show the power of language (e.g., if you teach the word “up”, you can pick your child up when they use the word. In contrast, if you teach the word table, there is no specific action to take as a result of using this word. Effective nouns might be “ball” or “cup”.)
  • Celebrate every attempt at communication! If your child tries to say a word, cheer and celebrate wildly!! You want your child to be excited to try and try and try again. This means not only celebrating success (saying a word correctly) but every attempt and effort along the way.

HELP YOUR CHILD: Use language successfully in social situations (if your child already possesses a large vocabulary and speaks in sentences)

HERE’S THE IDEA:

  • Oftentimes, we inadvertently shut down our children’s communication and send them the message that we are not interested in their communication or find it unpleasant. If we want our children to want to communicate socially, then it’s up to us to send our children the message that every sentence matters to us.
  • If we seek to entice our children to discuss what we want, we must first be willing to discuss what they want.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

  • Be willing to discuss your child’s topic of interest (Thomas the Tank Engine, shopping malls, toilets, repetitive questions such as “What time is dinner?”) with great enthusiasm! After you’ve followed your child’s area of interest (for an expansive amount of time), you can begin to gently guide the conversation in a different direction.
  • Offer specific phrases/sentences you want them to learn within the context of an exciting activity or game (e.g., rather than correct them or “feed” them sentences to repeat, create a game called “grocery store adventure” and show them how to interact with you as you play the cashier.)
  • Rather than continually correcting your child or showing them how what they are saying is “wrong,” off point or has been said before, celebrate the fact that your child is communicating with you!! Let them know how much you enjoy hearing them speak and share.

HELP YOUR CHILD: Stop using screaming, crying, hitting, throwing things, etc. when they
don’t get something they want

HERE’S THE IDEA:

  • Because our children may find it difficult to communicate in a complete, clear verbal way, they try other ways.
  • Our reactions play a vital role in how our children communicate.
  • Our children hit, shout, etc. because this way of communicating works in some way. They have learned to communicate what they want in this manner because, in various circumstances, it is the best way to move the adults (us!). If this way of communicating no longer works, our children will look for another way. And, if we show them another way – a more effective way – to communicate what they want, they will use it!

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

  • Give no reaction. Keep your facial expression and voice tone unresponsive (e.g., don’t frown, yell, grimace, etc.). Move slowly, quietly, and in a relaxed way.
  • Rather than attempt to ignore these behaviors, explain in a calm and caring voice that you don’t understand them when they communicate with you this way. Even if your child is pre-verbal, your explanation is useful both in content and tone.
  • Avoid giving the “payoff” they want. If you give them what they want when they scream, you teach them that this is an effective way to communicate.
  • Take care of yourself. Minimizing reactions does not mean you have to allow your child to hit or pinch you. Try putting a pillow or therapy ball in front of you, and slowly move to another location.
  • When your child asks for something (a piggyback ride, a glass of water), enthusiastically celebrate their wonderful communication – and then move very quickly so that they can clearly see that this kind of communication is powerful and gets results!

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The Autism Treatment Center of America® (a division of The Option Institute & Fellowship®) are committed to your privacy. This notice serves to help you better understand what information we collect, how we use that information, and with whom we may share a limited portion of that information. If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, you should contact Customer Support by email psupport@option.org.

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At any time, you can use the following request form https://gdpr.autismtreatmentcenter.org/ to request any of the following:

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Policy Updates

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