November 2019: We have a different report card this year. Last Friday marked one month since I am home from the Son-Rise Start-Up Program at the Autism Treatment Center of America® and there is no doubt it was the best thing I could have ever done for us. If Summer were to get a grade for this month, it would be an A+!!!!

Since implementing The Son-Rise Program® and removing Summer from most of her classes, the Arrowsmith Program from Canada and eliminating the majority of her screen time.  Now that it is gone, it is very obvious what was causing her anxiety and how much anxiety she was under. She is totally different today and with her anxiety being alleviated, I believe her brain has room to be. The changes I am seeing are remarkable. Her teachers are seeing it too and can’t believe how different she is in just 1 month!

What are the changes? I’m glad you asked!!! They are HUGE and have happened mostly in the past 2 weeks. Many of these things we take for granted because most of us just learn them. But that’s the thing with autism, life skills don’t come easy but I know now, we are on the exact right path!

– Her eye contact is off the charts with everyone, not just me. I would always have to prompt her to look at me/others.
– She is asking me questions and wanting to engage in back and forth conversation. She never asked me questions about me, what I like or any kind of social engagement stuff.
– Similarly, she has become very talkative with her friends at school and especially during lunch. She used to spend a good deal of time by herself at lunch and recess. Today, in her own words, “she has found her lunch crew”
– We talk and sing every single car ride to and from school. In the past, it would be silence. She would be inside herself and tell me to turn the music off and be quiet if I tried to chat with her.
– She has tried some new foods. Incredible because she was only eating veggies, fruit, Mac and cheese, spaghetti and steak. We have added a bagel, pork tenderloin, stew w/pot roast, fresh cut ham sandwich and chix & veggie soup. She never ate cooked veggies so it seems she is moving past some of her sensory eating roadblocks.
– For 8 days now, I haven’t had to tell her to do her Science homework. Not only is she doing it on her own, she is coming home knowing what her assignments are, which means she is tuned in during the class. In the past, I have had to get all assignments. I have had to sit with her at the table, continuously prompt her and basically do it with her, which always ended up with her getting mad, frustrated, crying and took hours to do one worksheet.
– For a week, without me saying a word, she has been bathing herself. The first time it happened, I was like YES!!!!! she just got up, turned the bath on and did her thing. Up until that day, I was helping her bathe, wash her/hair, brush her hair, reminding her to brush her teeth, checking her teeth, ears… this has all changed to the point that she kicks me out of the bathroom now.

Incredible right? I can only imagine what this next month will bring!  I can’t wait to bring this program to NJ to help other parents and children.