FROM SIMONE – if you read my blog from last week you would know how excited I was about, for the 11th time, volunteering at a Son-Rise Program in the U.K.

For us volunteers in the U.K. the Son-Rise Program courses are the highlight of our year. We take holidays, arrange babysitting, stop everything we do for a week to witness the miracle of over a hundred Parents and Professionals learning about the Program that has changed our lives and watch them changing themselves and changing their children’s lives.

When we volunteer we also bring back to our own Programs the joy, the 3E’s and the magic that is being with the Son-Rise Staff and breathing in an atmosphere of love and acceptance for a week.

Having an ASD diagnosis myself I have always called my volunteering time as being “my playroom” because I always felt accepted, celebrated and challenged in a most beautiful and respectful way, as our children would be in a Son-Rise playroom. Also, as our children, I grew with each Program learning valuable lessons in socializing, in a context unimaginable for someone with my condition, which is to deal with and greet over a hundred people in a big room.

Funnily enough, I felt during volunteering at my last Program that I had somehow “graduated” from “my Son-Rise Program”. Everyone celebrated my smiles, everyone said I was smiley (without prompt), confident, assertive and shining and I honestly felt that way. When one of the Teachers celebrated my smile I joked that I had “graduated” from “my Son-Rise Program” and then I secretly thought what my next Program would be like, if I genuinely felt there was no more lessons to be learnt, no more challenges, what would feel like?

After devising a whole military strategy to be able to be at the Son-Rise New Frontiers for the whole week, as this time the Program coincided with my Husband being in Spain and not being able to babysit for me, on the day before the Program my son caught chicken pox, don’t ask me how as he is not schooled and hardly ever leaves the house.

My first thought was why now? Why this week? Then I remembered about my joke that I had graduated and there was no lesson left, but perhaps there was one lesson I could have: Flexibility. How to choose to be happy when I am not getting what I want? Or why is this the best that could happen to me?

I went back to my Option books and filled myself with the thought that the Universe is benevolent and whatever happens at this very moment is the best that could have happened to me. It so happened that although I was not part of the transformation of over a hundred Parents I witnessed the transformation of a little boy who was happy, spontaneous, cheeky, cuddly and affectionate despite being ill. He was all of these without prompt. That’s one of the most beautiful aspects of the Son-Rise Program, our children do what they do because they want to, when they hug us it is spontaneous, when they smile it is without prompt, when they have the beautiful cheeky smile you can see in the picture is because they are a “Son-Rise child”

It has been a joy being at home with Thiago but wait for me in the next Program I will be there volunteering again!