Applying the Son Rise Priciples-Love and Acceptance

Hello wonderful and amazing friends,

Many of you do not know who I am so I would like to tell you a little about myself. My name is Amanda and I am a Son Rise Program Child Facilitator here at the Autism Treatment Center of America in Sheffield Massachusetts. I am a life long resident of Berkshire County and intend to continue to raise my two children here as well. I have a beautiful 6 year old daughter and a wonderful 11 year old son with ADHD. I want to share with you how useful the Son Rise Program has been for me both in my professional life and in my personal life.

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago (and before I came to the Autism Treatment Center of America) I felt anger and sadness. I was angry because I felt as though I had done something wrong in my parenting and sadness because I felt as though my son would have to live with a “label” for the his life. My own self judgement and self pity lead to feelings of angst toward others including my son. I decided to resent my son’s ADHD and in turn resented a very beautiful piece of my son’s soul. At this point I did all I could to help him hide his ADHD including seeing a child psychologist and starting him on medication.

Since coming to the Autism Treatment Center of America I have adapted a completely different view of ADHD (as well all Autism Spectrum Disorders). One of the first things taught to us by the Son Rise Program Teacher’s is the importance of finding a loving and accepting attitude for others and for ourselves. I immediately looked at this within myself and realized I had not accepted or loved my son’s ADHD at all and instead had this belief that is was “bad” for my son. I also did a pretty good job at judging myself and felt worthless as a parent. In an instant, I made the decision to love everything about ADHD and wanted to know much more about it rather than look for ways to prevent it or “fix it”. I also wanted to love and accept my own parenting.

Before adapting a loving and accepting attitude, my son felt the affects of how I felt about his ADHD. Our relationship was distant, he didn’t participate in sports, he had very few friends, and he hardly left my side. He also had a bed wetting challenge and often had difficulty falling asleep. When I changed my attitude to one of acceptance and love my son seemed to grow before my eyes. He became easy with his ADHD as well. He would tell his friends about his ADHD and they in turn developed a sense of love and respect for him. I have freed myself from being a victim of circumstance and changed to one of opportunity. My son tooo has a gift that he can share with the rest of the world and I want him to love it just as I do. He is no longer on medicine, he has joined the swim team, he hasn’t wet his bed in 6 months, and he had his first sleepover at his friends house over winter break. WOW!

I now embrace each moment I have with ADHD and treat it as an opportunity to grow and learn. When I receive letters from my son’s teacher’s stating that “he had difficulty in class today” I no longer approach my son with feelings of upset but instead approach him with an open, loving heart. No amount of medicine or therapy can compare to the Son Rise Program attitude of love and acceptance.

The Son Rise Program Principles have helped me change my life and it has helped my son evolve into a self loving being as well.

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