Has anyone heard of Son-Rise therapy? vs ABA?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I found this online and frankly, don't see how it is any different that so many other techniques. And I'm wondering why they pit themselves against ABA instead of ignoring it. Any experiences here?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just from the name, I expect there is a strong religious component to Son-Rise.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I thought of that. I mean, more like that, then an all-boy program. :)
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This kind of "getting in their world" therapy started early on in the treatment of Autism. Research based evidence for long term growth and functioning in the world, in my humble opinion has not been great for it, but given each family comes from a different place and likely does many things on their own that support their child without even realizing it, if this addresses some of their challenges there are going to be people who benefit. Besides, doing something is always better than nothing or a really inappropriate intervention.

    That said, a huge criticism of ABA is that kids learn to do the behaviors in a rote way. So, rather than really experiencing the enjoyment and then developing the desire to (for example) want to play a board game with peers, they learn to do it for an m&m. Kids can learn many amazing skills with ABA so it can be really effective that way. (better example: you teach a kid to answer fine, how are you? following a question from peer or adult. They learn to do it but may not be motivated to listen to the answer. Is it not useful...I think it is even if they dont really get it. I think it opens doors and keeps things running more smoothly for them..and after enough time doing it maybe they can learn to "feel" it too) But some critical research says that this doesn't happen often and that other methods are more beneficial to developing a child who actually "feels" more connected and desires social interaction intrinsically.

    in my humble opinion, there is a place and way to work with many of these. Most good Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) school and treatment programs know of all of the systems and use what helps each individual child depending on the skill deficit. One method for teaching organizational skills and academics, one for social games, etc...) An example of behavioral training we use as I have said in another thread, my son will say "sorry" for things. That is socially appropriate and it allows him to continue to participate in the world in a smoother manner. But he actually said, "is it ok if I say sorry to you but I dont really mean it?" Whether or not he really feels it we maybe can't change, I know he sometimes does feel sorry---it shows when he is automatic in his responses--but sometimes he needs a prompt or responds from his behavioral training to do so.

    There is a great guy...Steven E Gutstein He developed RDI wth his wife out of frustrations of both of these methods (and floor time for those who have done that with their difficult child's). He also felt that the average person could read what they should do but had no road map on how to get there. His methods are not targeted to ONLY autism! They are for any child/person who is having difficulty with social/interactional communication and functioning. Children are assessed (if at their clinic they are involved but you can do it too informally to find approximately where to start) and they are placed where they fit in the huge continuum of social skills activities that help build the skills needed. you have step by step activities to build skills based on interactive games and exercises. Simple things like walking side by side to learn to be near another and to follow another person's cues....so eventually the "mentor" or whatever you want to call it...walks faster, then slower and the child keeps up or slows down. These activities go on to much more complex things in conversational and work situations. Their own and independent research has shown that these methods to really help a child not only develop the abilty to do a task, but to develop the intrinsic rewards for these skills which pushes them onward. Nothing is as good as it sounds of course. So it is not for everyone but we used it a lot in one of the districts I worked in and it is easy to implement in an IEP without expert ABA trainers needed. AND these guys propose using several autism therapy methods like TEACCH methods in schools etc. They dont knock many methods, their stuff works on underlying issues. I love hearing the actual clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and ADHD tell how their feelings have changed. They used to have many of the tools online and parents could share ideas, not sure how things have evolved now...They do parent trainings across the country. Probably expensive. Just MHO as I worked with mine and many little ones on social communication.

    PS there is an old movie based on the child from son rise developers. They got in his world, accepted him, worked VERY hard and in the movie anyway....like magic it all paid off and he started talking and being neuro-typical. Again, MHO, when it helps it is likely the staff and parents are doing what they should, finding out where that child is skill wise and in as low a stress setting as possible, building skills step by step.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great info, Buddy. Thank you!

    LOVE this part: But he actually said, "is it ok if I say sorry to you but I dont really mean it?" LOL! :flirtysmile3:
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That's my boy! :groan: haha
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    From my perspective, there's a huge DUH factor to this. I did all the above instinctively for son before there was even a hint of a diagnosis. AFTER his diagnosis a headline about a *NEW* therapy caught my eye touting great results for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It was called "Floor time". The parents and therapist would get down on the floor and allow the child to direct the play. DUH factor to the nth degree.

    Buddy, is that movie House of Cards with Kathleen Turner and Tommy Lee Jones? If so, then I must give credit to Son-rise for my "instinctual" parenting, because that's the movie that moved me profoundly. I saw it long before I had kids, but thought that trying to delve into a child's world (any child's) was a better parenting technique than exerting parental authority over them. If memory serves me correctly, the child in the movie was not really autistic. She became *autistic* due to emotional trauma, and the mother tried to "fix" her and eventually did get her daughter back.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I have found a combination of ABA and something similar to this have helped difficult child 2. Its called the PLAY project. Again its getting down with the child and into there world. He still needed the ABA as well.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I dont think so...It was a little boy who spun plates, flapped his hands, non verbal. They were told to institutionalize etc. They I think even stripped their bathroom to keep him in one spot, very plain, if he spun, they spun, if he made sounds, they made sounds...etc.

    I agree with you that this really is the basis for many systems out there, you meet the child where they are and then challenge a little bit and then join back in etc. I have to say there are many parents even of neuro typicals who dont know how to play with kids and try to run the play. But the important thing in any of these programs is to really know how to move things to a higher and higher level....face it, our kids like routine and f you are lining up cars together over and over it can be tricky to get them to move to another level of play (even if it is just turning one car around to face another direction. Nearly all programs do imitative work if that is a need for a child. I just will never trust any program that says their way is the best. There are lots of good things in many of the programs and the imporant thing is to do what the child needs. on the other hand, I would never trust a program that just did typical preschool in a slower way or whatever....I would expect visual shedules, PECS, sensory tools, whatever is needed for the child.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just a very quick note - "Son Rise" was the title of a book written by a father who reckoned he 'cured' his autistic toddler. The kid did do well but the whole thing is anecdotal. However, the techniques tis dad used were intuitive; he did what I always recommend which is - begin with the child and where the child is at. Start from there and work back towards teaching the child to connect. But don't force it too fast, the child has to feel in control and be the one to make the moves, setting the pace. Never forget that autistic kids at some level want to fit in, they want to please you once they make that connection.

    For me - we did not have access to any programs, we had to make it up ourselves. What I ended up doing had a lot of similarity to "Son Rise" as well as ABA (to a lesser extent). From the very beginning, when each of my children was born, I tried to connect with the child and give that child what they wanted. By the time difficult child 3 came along, I was skilled at it and could 'read' the baby well. As long as it wasn't a problem for me, I gave the baby what he/she wanted. And that stood me in good stead later on, when the autism diagnosis became apparent. So when we had problems with food, for example, I found ways to get the nutrition into the kids but also cater to individual tastes. Once the child felt secure that I would not sneak unpopular foods in, they were more willing to try these foods when I asked them to. "Try it this way." But once I detected a pattern - difficult child 3 hating creamy textures, for example - I learned to not push too hard in that direction.

    Oh, and "Son Rise" does not have any religious connotations. it was just the title of a book written by a father about his son.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ah, thanks, Marg!
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    While I admire Jenny McArthy (Sp?) for her devotion to her son and her desire to help, she does make me crazy for her claims to have cured her autistic son too. She says that, then the clips of things show he is very protected, he still is rigid etc. She is so sure of the things she did and of her opinions about vaccines...even in the face of new evidence.

    There are kids who are "cured", but their Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) symptoms are secondary to something that is curable...like kids who have Celiac's. If it is extreme, they may be getting no nutrition, having seizures, lots of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) symptoms and once they are on a gluten free diet, wow, recovery-- if there has not been brain damage from the amount of time they sufffered. There are other illnesses that can be cured, but MHO is that while kids may move in and out of specific kinds of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnostically during their lifetime, (different spots on the spectrum) they are not actually cured. Can get pretty good though, and have very productive and happy lives so absolutely worth the effort to work on things.
    The truth is most kids make some progress if you work with them. I feel terrible when people think they have to use all of their resources on a particular special diet (worth a try, but I have seen people continue when there is no sign of improvement, with such hope that it will cure their loved one, if it works for someone I would absolutely continue, smile) or specific programs which may help but so may other things that do not use all of the resources of the family. To each his own, but she is a public figure and from what she says her son is still doing, he still has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) symptoms.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I always wondered about her and her son. He can't have been totally "cured." Makes me grind my teeth, when there are so many parents wishing for a total cure.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A few parents raised a bunch of $$ and opened a "Son Rise" school here but they accept ONLY children wth Down's Syndrome. The article in our paper said the therapy is being used with other types of problems but the actual school only accepted children with Down's Syndrome and they had to be quite young. Not sure if that is just our town's school or all of them, but from the artcle the general idea was that this was designed for children with Down's but if they didn't start super early then it didn't have a chance. It was NOT a rousing success and last time I went past the building it sure didn't look like it was still running, but I could be wrong about that.

    As for JEnny McCarthy, she did NOT impress me. I KNOW that we have members who have kids who are MUCH better on the girlfriend/cf diet. I just don't believe that it will cure autism or anything but food intolerances/allergies. Those can be powerful, and can be comorbid with autism or many other problems, but the diet doesn't cure the other problems. She got a bunch of $$ for writing a book all about how great she was for fixing her child and to cheerlead other parents into thinking that their is an easy "fix" for autism. My mother got me the book for xmas and was shocked that I was NOT enthusiastic. I just stopped believing in quick fixes and total cures for complex problems when I was in elem school.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Susie... any solution will fix the problem, if it fixes the cause of the problem.
    SO... if cf/girlfriend intollerance is producing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-like behaviors, dealing with the cf/girlfriend intollerance will fix the behaviors.
    But just because it looks like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), doesn't mean it IS Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Like everything else in life, you have to know what you are- dealing with, if you're going to have much success in finding a solution.
    Having said that... there are some things that can be safely tried on a "what if" basis. If there's no downside but some extra effort on my part, then I really don't have much to lose in tryng something... and to me, the whole girlfriend/cf diet thing falls into that category. Try it. If it works, then you now know it was at least part of the problem, and that being the case, its wise to continue. IF it doesn't work... you just ruled out one more possibility.

    What I don't like is when psychiatrists and others want to "experiment" with high-risk medications, when there is time to work things through and lower-risk options (including lower-risk medications) are available. If the downside to the medications is high, then there had better be no alternatives, or no alternatives left, or you are working against time and need SOMETHING to work NOW - figure out the rest later.

    Of course, that's just my opinion...
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Ic, you are right - any solution that fixes the cause of the problem will fix the problem. I just don't like anyone trying to insist that their solution is the only one and is the cure-all for some complicated issue. Sadly many people want that easy fix even if a true solution could be found if they just were patient and tried to figure out the problem rather than throwing a one size fits all solution onto the fire.

    I think the girlfriend/cf diet can be amazing if it works for you/your child. Around here a LOT of people, even the sp ed teachers, have tried to force it on the parents of all of the sp ed kids. It won't even work for all of the kids with an autism diagnosis because the causes can be so complex and varied.

    I do think trying it is great, esp if it is a diet that won't cause harm (no harm generally woudl come from trying a girlfriend/cf diet) or a therapy that doesn't involve invasive things like medications or surgery. We sure jumped on the brushing therapy and sensory diet for thank you when he was showing signs of an autism spectrum disorder. Those were mostly enough to allow him to function in school and life so far. So we didn't do medications for those issues. Heck, we tried the girlfriend/cf diet at least three different times. Same directions each time, same results. We just had 2 docs who were so totally sure that ALL Wiz' problems were due to that and they would NOT believe we had done the diet "properly". At least our allergist wasn't so dumb - I took all three copies of the same printouts and cookbooks that the other 3 docs had given us, along iwth the records of the results and what we ate each day. Cause I did it with Wiz.

    Marg, at least here in the US the dad who wrote the Son Rise book has started schools that are supposed to use his methods to teach students. I do NOT think the people in my town who opened the school really understood the concepts because they INSISTED that it was only for those with down's syndrome and they had some other really bizarre requirements that I didn't list. From what I read of the book, they were using the same name/idea and the school's setup and practices were supposed to be "exactly" what they did in the book, but people here put their own spin on things and it just didn't work at all. Which is a shame because it sounded like it had a lot of promise when they started.