From Amanda:

Good morning Son-Rise Program parents,

I am writing to you live from the Autism Treatment Center of America in Sheffield, Massachusetts; home of the Son-Rise Program. Today, I wanted to share a personal experience with you, as a way to inspire and motivate you when you feel as though you are allowing your aching body to get in the way of going into the playroom with your child.

Nearly 10 months ago, I developed a condition in my shoulders called Adhesive Capsulitis, otherwise known as “frozen shoulder”. This is a painful condition in which the capsule around the shoulder joint becomes inflamed and then tightens. the body then responds to this condition as an injury. The capsule then grows fibrous tissue which adheres the joint to the shoulder causing one to lose much of the mobility in the shoulder joint. IT IS REALLY PAINFUL.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I am a child facilitator at the Autism Treatment Center of America and this injury dramatically impacted the way I worked with children in the playroom. you see,I wanted to facilitate “as I always did” as a way show them how much I love them. I wanted to reach my hands in the air and shout; I wanted to roll on the ground and laugh. I wanted to do all of the amazing things I did before my shoulders developed this disease. I was no longer able to be as physical in the room as I had been in the past so I adopted the belief that I shouldn’t go into the playroom. My shoulders did not impact the way I facilitated; it was my attitude.

When my shoulders began to hurt, I did unhappiness around the idea that I wouldn’t be able to do the physical things I d when I was in the playroom before they hurt. I was attached the idea that if I couldn’t be with our children in a 100% physically well manner, then that meant I couldn’t be with them at all. Boy was I wrong!

I soon figured out that my body didn’t have to work like a well oiled machine. To join a child as a way to show them I love them, void of all judgments, I don’t have to be perfect. That isn’t what matters most when I work with a child. The Son-Rise Program attitude of love and acceptance is the core of being with our amazing children in the playroom. I didn’t have an injury in my mind that prevented me from doing this, so I just needed an attitude adjustment.

I decided to drop my old belief of not being able to be with our children due to my injury, and adopted a new belief that I am fully capable and absolutely solid in the playroom with our children. I decided I could give then as much as any facilitator, just in a different way. If a child wants me to hold them upside down, I let them know I will do this for them, but I will have to use the ball to help me because of my shoulders. When a child is throwing their hands in the air as they ism with excitement, I ism with excitement and throw my hands part way in the air. I always offer an alternative if there is something I can’t give the child, and because I am doing this from a place a love, it is always effective.

So, if you have physical limitations, know that you can still be an effective facilitator in the playroom. An amazing facilitator in the playroom. Trust me, your child will feel your love!

with love from, Amanda