FROM BECKY: I wanted to share a really meaningful experience I just had working with a beautiful 17 year old girl with Autism. Elizabeth, who I go back a few years with, came to our Son-Rise Program Intensive for the 4th time this week.

I was working with this lovely young lady one on one and I wanted to do something fun and creative together where we could help each other make something. We have this wonderful activity called “Build a Stool” which involves, actually constructing a wooden stool together with screws and a screwdriver.

As soon as I introduced this activity, Elizabeth was interested in it, watching me take each part out of the box as I read the instructions to make sure we had everything we needed for the job. The more I got involved in the activity, the more connected she would get as she smiled and watched we attach the first two legs on to the top of the stool

Next, I encouraged her to participate which she did, by having a go at screwing in one of the screws. She was obviously new to this and couldn’t quiet fit the screwdriver into the top of the screw very easily. With lots of celebrations and invitations, she started to get more involved as we assembled the rest of the stool. The whole thing took an hour as we took turns, getting each piece perfect, laughing, looking, occasional words being said between us and having a good old time. She got more and more confident, each time she used the screwdriver and was really giving it some elbow grease by the end. It was so fun!

We had just completed it when Amanda, another Son-Rise Program Child Facilitator came in to do the next session with Elizabeth. We finished off our time together with a couple of high fives and then tried out the stool’s sturdiness as we all took tuns to sit on it.

That was the highlight of my day!