I'm putting more effort into Anna's Son-Rise Program and mixing it with Anat Baniel Method® techniques, and the possibility of her recovering fully in the end makes documenting our struggles and extremely long road, lest people see her acting normally and say she "grew out of it" or worse yet, was never autistic. That's what happened to the Kaufmans, who started the Son-Rise Program: their son recovered fully back before there were home video cameras widely available, and some people until this day accuse them of lying that he was ever autistic. I am going to post more often to show how much work and facets go into working with an autistic person at a high level using Son-Rise and ABM, so here you go.
VIDEO OF PART OF TODAY'S SESSION
Demonstrating of blending of Anat Baniel Method® and Son-Rise® Programs, including the following observable in this video:
-Happy nonjudgmental, playful attitude, but willing to challenge amidst that and be appropriately confused to help the child be aware they are talking in a confusing way
-pairing a motivator - what at the child wants - with something the parent / facilitator wants, in this case, counting the chalk using multiplication in order to give away the chalk
-using a context, like counting the chalk in order to get rid of it, which the child wants to do, to teach a skill (like multiplication) which would otherwise make little sense to the child to make efforts to learn
-Offer challenges without filling in too much for the child, and celebrate them being accomplished in tiny steps;
-Using the Son-Rise Developmental Model to choose goals and challenges just beyond the child's grasp, but not too far to be impossible and frustrating. Here I'm working on:
1-answering "why" questions,
2-speaking long complex sentences in a non-jumbled way,
3-giving clear directions and delegating (I added this goal; it's not in the Son-Rise Developmental Model.)
-asking the child to go slower if they're struggling in their efforts, a core ABM technique.
-taking a straight sentence and asking the child to turn it into something I know what to do with, for example, clarify if it's a request, or if not, to speak their reaction or thoughts about it. For example, saying "We can buy Twighlight Sparkle (Pony) at Walmart", which I already know, leaves me scratching my head as to what to do with that sentence, is it a request to go soon, a statement she's happy about or looking forward to, or something else?
-putting it all in a larger context of self-care, like cleaning up the house, or clearing space to have an activity, or earning money so we can buy thing she sees value in, so it's clear how she'll benefit from the activity. In this case it's getting rid of things that have sat around she is ready to see be given away.
Part of this morning's session, where mostly Stage 4 Son-Rise goals were the focus.
LONG DETOUR LOOPS IN AUTISM
Note the long "loops", where we start doing one thing, then something jumps into her mind off in another direction. We go on that detour together and at the end, I bring it back to refocus where we started and we get back to work on it. If you don't go on that journey most of the time joyfully and easy about the time spend off that topic, you lose the relationship with the child. People with autism like those with ADD have trouble directing their focus at the request of others. You spend most of the session jumping from one learning experience to the other learning a bit on each, as in this video where I worked on math, asked her to clarify her speech, asked her to delegate / direct someone else to do something, etc. etc. then ended back to working on math. This is just how it goes, with our child anyway. The information is coming in fragmented but that's what our child was open to and in that order so we went there, knowing that over time longer attention span will follow. This is how you can explain how you can spend hours with her and only work a few minutes on the thing you most wanted to do with her.
SEEKING THE PURPOSE IN SENTENCES AND ASKING FOR A THOUGHT/ REACTION FROM OUR CHILD SEEMS TO BE WORKING
"And what about that? What am I supposed to do with that statement? What is your response to that? What do you you think about that?"
What do you think or feel about that?
My husband noticed my daughter today doing something new. He came home from work today: "What have you been doing today?"
Husband: "Hi how are you?"
Anna: "Good. How are you." (This was unusual - asking back is not that common itself.)
Husband: "What have you been doing?"
Anna: "I've been reading 'Roller Girl' [she picks up the book for him to see]." (This is one of over a dozen graphic novels I picked up at the library a few weeks ago, hoping to entice her into reading more and/or making her own books.)
Husband, "And do you like it?"
Anna [pauses, then speaks slowly and deliberately to his face]: "I think this book has too much name calling in it, [pause, then delivered slowly and deliberately] and I don't like name calling."
One of our current participants from UWM. He plays guitar and Anna jams along with keyboard.
He got the feeling she really wanted him to know what she was thinking and wanted to be sure it registered. She maintained eye contact throughout, said it slowly and deliberately, totally opposite the speedy, repetitive, often jumbled/ clumsy phrases she often says without paying attention to his reaction and without much intent or behind the statement other than to "say something". He said it was the first time she wanted him to understand what she was thinking in a non-stressful, non-needy situation (outside when she was really sick or wanted a toy). He never did the Son-Rise Program/ Option Institute training or Anat Baniel training, so he really doesn't know how to connect with her other than in highly ritualized ways, such as watching the Simpsons.
Son-Rise and ABM are really the key to connection and being constructive in an Autistic person's life, helping them feel comfortable in the here and now, and be willing and able to reach for and practice new skills. I am going to be an Anat Baniel Method Practitioner in May 2017 and plan to work primarily with autistic children and adults!