An Inspiring Letter from a Son-Rise Dad

This letter arrived last week from a Son-Rise Dad whose child went from on-the-spectrum to off-the-spectrum in just 17 weeks. Truly a miracle!

Hi Bears,

Hope you are well. My name is William Dunne and I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland with my wife Shauna and two children: Ronan (7) and Lorcan (3). Lorcan was diagnosed with severe learning difficulties with Autism Spectrum Disorder in November 2008. My wife recently contacted you via Facebook and briefly told of the success of our Son Rise Program® after only being up and running for 17 weeks.

My wife and I were so confused when Lorcan was diagnosed as we did not know where to turn for help, as I’m sure you’re aware there was no immediate rush by anyone to offer help for Lorcan. It seemed as though he was just another statistic, another child diagnosed with autism and we were sent home to deal with it.

We heard briefly about The Son Rise Program from Lorcan’s social worker although she did also say that she couldn’t really recommend it as she herself knew little about it. Shauna and I researched the program and we were really optimistic in what we found and it gave us a sense of hope, false hope some told us but hope is hope. As Raun says, “there is no such thing as false hope!!” We registered on the Autism Treatment Center of America’s™ website and eventually on The Son-Rise Program Start-Up, which we attended in London in January. We learned so much from Bryn and William and the other parents there and we came home fully motivated and ready to get our program into full swing.

We got 3 fantastic volunteers to come on board and help us with our program and after a few difficult weeks to start with things began to click into place and we started to see results with Lorcan. When we started the program Lorcan’s vocabulary was around 50 words, by the end of April this had increased this to 148 words, with a couple of 2 word sentences also. His attention span improved, his flexibility improved and his overall behaviour was calmer than before.

As my wife mentioned to you on Facebook, Lorcan visited his Paediatrician in April for another assessment and she was very pleased with his overall progress since she last saw him in November 2008, she was so pleased with his progress that she decided to update his diagnosis and remove the ASD from it because she felt that it was no longer an issue.

We gave copies of the letter we got of Lorcan’s first diagnosis plus his updated diagnosis to William when we were at The Son-Rise Program New Frontiers so I’m sure you will get a chance to read them and I hope you can share them with other parents to inspire them as we have been inspired.

We, along with our 3 fantastic volunteers Claire, Suzanne and Lisa, went to New Frontiers this month and we found it a great experience. We came back again more motivated than before and we got some great ideas from William and Kate on different themes for our playroom.

As my wife said on Facebook, we have created a website for Lorcan ( so that members of our friends and family can keep up to date with Lorcan’s progress. There are also some pictures on there of Lorcan in the playroom and a blog which we try to update whenever we get the chance. We would be delighted if you could have a look at this.

We would like to thank you for taking time out to read our story and also for giving us the opportunity to help our beautiful son.

We look forward to hearing from you. Lots of love

William & Shauna

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