From Gaby:Last weekend Gerd Winkler Son-Rise teacher came to our house for an Out-Reach. Having met him last year for the first time, Tybalt this time greeted him enthusiastically and told him all about his favorite Characters (disney cars ). Gerd didn’t understand that Mater one of the cars figures could take on another figure then the tow truck. Tybalt therefore went to get a book for him in order to show him pictures of Mater. After that we went into the playroom where we played a wonderful game of making spaghetti with meatballs. Tybalt was flexible in going with Gerd’s suggestions and he even waited his turn to talk when Gerd asked him to. When Gerd and I left the play room he told me that Tybalt was ready to go out of the playroom and into the real world. It was only one hour after the beginning of our two day Out Reach and the impact of Gerd’s words made me quiet dazed as they rung in my ears. For years I dreamt of this moment but when it came I was taken by surprise.
For 6 years we have been running a full time son-rise program and I have loved doing it. Enjoying the journey as we say, but still we always had the goal of being able to put Tybalt in a school and being able to make friends. This day has now arrived.
To now change our life’s is a daunting thought and Gerd helped me by dialoging me. Excited I decided to discover beliefs and change a belief that would otherwise hold Tybalt’s progress back. Letting go of Tybalt after being so intensely involved in his life is a big step. It’s one of joy but none the less I’m grateful for the dialogue helping me to embrace this new step fearlessly. For 6 years we have shared intense and amazing moments together in a way that only this program can offer. Realizing how our lives will now change is like taking an airplane and going to live in a different part of the world. All new and exciting.
As the change will also be a big step for Tybalt, we will start with introducing him to places like the museum once or twice a week and then spending the next days talking about what we saw. These outings will be carefully planned so that he will be able to handle them easier. We will be doing some home schooling, but we will also try to see how it goes if he goes to a small school for a few hours a week. It may still be too early for these changes, we will wait and see. Gerd thinks Tybalt is ready but Tybalt will let us know by how he reacts to the new situation.
Gerd advised us to only introduce things appropriate for a boy his age. This meant throwing away all the books, toys and dvd’s that weren’t age appropriate. It actually meant throwing half of his stuff away. A few team members helped me with this chore. We made it into an important moment as I explained to Tybalt we were doing this because he had become such a big boy. I also bought an exciting boys book and dvd which he loves.
When I think back to when we began the program I see a small boy who didn’t speak and either spent his days running around for hours on end without heading others or hiding under the sofa coming out only for food or the tv. Now 6 years later and almost 12 years old he talks, asks us all kind of questions and loves being in the company of people. What a difference. Where would we have been if Samaria and Bears didn’t get Raun and hadn’t started the institute. As I write this I know that somewhere on this earth is an other Son-Rise child playing in his playroom. 24 hours a day there is always somewhere on this planet a Son-Rise child working with his volunteer to come out of his autism into our world. We are all united by our special children. We support each other via facebook and skype. We travelled ( in some cases to the other end of the world ) to help our children. We embrace a loving and accepting attitude. For hours on end we join our children in isms. How amazing is that!
As our journey changes I want to thank Bears, Samaria and all the staff of the Autism Treatment Center of America. I will always be eternally grateful to you. We are not there yet, we still have an exciting journey ahead . As Tybalt steps into the real world I know that Son-Rise will always be a part of our life as that’s the way we breath. It has changed our world, our personality and look on life. It has brought many wonderful people into our lives. I also want to thank all the extraordinary people who have helped Tybalt by working with him in the playroom. They will continue to help us as the journey progresses and share in our joy. These people have become a part of our family and we love them dearly. Where would we have been if it weren’t for them.
than you Gaby! German is 6 now, we've been runnning SonRise program for one year. There has been so many wonderful changes, in his life, in mine as well. We live in Argentina. So far away, and so close at the same time. Thank you for sharing, I dream with that moment too, while enjoying the journey very very much. I'm so happy for you and your family! good luck in the next part of the journey!! keep us knowing about Tybalt! Love Ines
So great reading your story now. Two years into the full time SRP, I've kept thinking where we are heading to? Lizzie still isms a lot, though her language has changed from only asking for what she wanted, now to talking and talking about her Disney movies, acting out with us, commenting on her actions; her eye contact from level zero, barely ever looked at anyone, to now looking, or staring at some of the long time volunteers frequently. Six years, Gaby, I totally subscribe to it. Thank you for sharing! Hope one day we can come together again. Best to you all!