From Becky: Recently when working with an 33 year old man here at The Autism Treatment center of America I had prepared an interactive theme to take into The Son-Rise program focus room. The theme was ballroom dancing and the focus of the game was to work on having this amazing man dance the waltz with me.

I took the theme in for the first time and whenever this wonderful man connected with me and showed me he was available, I would build up the game by talking about the dance, showing him a printed diagram of the lady and the man part of the dance and demonstrating how it was done.

On my first session with him, I introduced the theme around 4 times in different ways and at various different times, and he would shake his head and tell me “I don’t want to” each time. I lovingly respected that and dropped the idea to make myself predictable and trustworthy and continued to initiate the game when another opportunity arose.

The second session with him,I tried again, lovingly and persistently introducing the game and modelling it for him. Again, throughout the session I got many “No’s”. This was the perfect opportunity to show him he had control and I was user-friendly.

The third time I brought it in, he stood up and came to dance the waltz with me with a big smile on his face. Not only did this beautiful man and I dance the waltz, we also disco danced, did classical dance and rock and roll dancing.

There is so much to say for persistence and not being attached to the outcome. At no point did I “need” him to play this game with me and at the same time, at no point did I let go of the desire for him to play it with me and help him stretch himself in a way he had never done before. All the while giving him immediate control to the many times that he said no.

When using The Son-Rise Program, try taking in your themes or initiating your games more than once. Give your children time to get used to the idea and ultimately decided when they are ready to play the game.