FROM SIMONE – One of the most common questions I get when I mention I run a Son-Rise Program for my son is “…but doesn’t he get upset locked up in a room?”
If we think that actually there is even the expression “locked up”, which means being in prison, we can see how much belief there is in a question, how much assumption of my child’s feelings.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a more natural world, for being in touch with nature, I grew up living 5 minutes walk from a beach and 2 minutes walk from a park. However, being autistic I can guarantee you that “being outside” for an autistic child is not paradise. The outside world is very challenging. There is noise, too much noise in fact, there are faces looking at you, there is extreme temperatures, too hot or too cold, there’s rain and wind, there are shop windows, dog poop you mustn’t step on or grown ups will start shouting, other kids looking at you in a weird way.
Yes I did live by the beach but my favourite time of the day wasn’t when I was outside but when I played with my brother in our bedroom because my Brother was quiet, was understanding, he accepted my play the way I wanted to play, he didn’t shout at me and run away with my toys.
I absolutely hated school. I was severely bullied at school. People noticed I was different, very shy, had gross motor challenges, was excused from gym, cried when faced with the minimum challenge, didn’t know what to say most of the time, couldn’t make small talk. What helped me through school years was that I liked to learn and to read but being with other children did not teach me to socialize.
What taught me to socialize was the hours and hours I spent with my Brother playing one to one in a very user friendly environment. Unknowingly my Brother was my Son-Rise Facilitator, my Mother was my Son-Rise Facilitator when she listened to me talking about Star Wars hours on end or about how I would become a Paleontologist at age 3 and dig a Diplodocus all by myself.
One thing I can say is that for an autistic child it doesn’t matter if they are high functioning like me or low functioning like my son, extra verbal like me or non-verbal yet like my son, full of imagination like me or not demonstrating imagination like my son, we are all the same, we are content and most functional where we feel safe, loved, nurtured, where we are given space and time to do things our way and which better place for this than a Son-Rise playroom!
Love your room, your child does!
Dear Simone, thanks so much for sharing! Insight in once or still autistic soul is such a gift! Love Aldona