“Socially connecting and relating to people is a big challenge for our children on the autism spectrum. Therefore, we want to help our children view people as exciting and fun to be around as much as possible. Each time you work on your child’s social skills, it becomes a stepping stone to helping them in many other areas of growth. When you are in a game or activity with your fantastic child, try The Son-Rise Program® technique of Varying the Game you are playing.
“When you offer your child fun variations to the things they love, it increases the odds that they will attend to you and find it easier and more compelling to pay attention to you. What would happen if you started clucking like a chicken in the middle of dinner with your family? Everyone would notice and pay attention to you! We all appreciate these playful, silly, spontaneous moments! Most of us want to stick around to discover what will happen next! The same is true for our children with autism.
“Varying the Game Looks like this:
• “While giving your child a piggyback ride, you pretend that your foot keeps getting stuck to the floor as you walk. Pretend that this takes you by surprise and gasp in a funny way!
• “Do a funny character voice (e.g., Goofy, Bart Simpson, or Donkey from Shrek) while reading a book to your child.
• “In the middle of singing your child’s favorite song, keep moving your mouth, but do not make a sound! Be the silly singer who keeps randomly losing their voice!
• “Challenge yourself to add at least one fun new variation to any game that your child enjoys.
Inspire your child to connect more deeply with you and want to keep coming back from more!”
Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher