helping Owen rise above autism

This is Owen, a seven-year-old who is on a journey of hope and healing. You are invited to join him on this journey. Owen’s parents have received initial training in a form of home-based autism therapy called The Son-Rise Program. Over the last year, early results with Owen have been very promising, especially in comparison with past therapies that brought some growth, but left Owen feeling stressed and depressed. Your support is needed to help continue this program.

Why The Son-Rise Program?
Son-Rise is a unique therapy because the therapist's attitude toward joining a child changes the learning dynamic to one of total acceptance and celebration. The enthusiasm and creative flexibility shown by a trained play partner causes the child to desire and seek out social interaction. In addition, the low-stimulus playroom used in the program allows a child like Owen, with sensory integration disorder, to relax and absorb more of the unspoken social language he sees in play partners so that he can start to understand and use it himself. In this environment, stress levels go down, and health and learning improve, and lasting neurological gains occur.

Since switching to Son-Rise therapy, many friends and family have said that they see Owen blossoming. They say he is much more relaxed, talkative, and motivated to interact with them than ever before. There are many examples of Son-Rise play with Owen that confirm that this approach works, and works well.

The next steps for Owen
In order to move from a part-time to full-time Son-Rise program incorporating trained volunteers, the following is necessary:
• Owen’s father (Jonathan) had to raise $3,000 by March 2015 (thank you!) in order to participate in a second week of Son-Rise training. This session taught Jonathan how best to recruit, train and coordinate a team of volunteer play partners.
• Jonathan also had to raise $2,000 by November 2015 (thanks again!) to participate in a third week of training. This session enabled Jonathan and Wendy to assess Owen's developmental levels so that they can create and adapt play to maximize learning and social development.

In both instances above, donated funds are helping cover tuition and airfare. Any additional amount raised above $5,000 will go toward video and in-person consultations by the Autism Treatment Center of America, the center that teaches The Son-Rise Program. Over time, the cumulative cost of these consultations can be significant.

What does autism look like?
Autism presents itself differently in each case, and often is accompanied by other challenges. Owen is verbal, literate, and intelligent. He loves to sing, write, and make jokes. He also is distracted and easily overwhelmed by noisy and bright environments. He has digestive problems that lead to additional medical expenses. He has low muscle tone, and cannot presently engage in certain types of physical activities such as riding a pedal bike, catching a baseball, swimming, or physical play with other children.

At its core, autism is a deficit in social and communication skills. While there is no treatment that presently yields a 100% success rate in curing autism, the Son-Rise program consistently generates positive and meaningful results, up to and including full recovery. Adequate and effective treatment, especially through therapy like the Son-Rise Program, can enable an autistic person to enjoy a more independent life, full of loving and reciprocal relationships.

Owen is a uniquely beautiful child, and a gift. He is teaching his parents and other family and friends about patience, acceptance, and living in the moment. He has so much to share and we hope his story will encourage you.

Here is a poem written by Owen:
What's the psalm, it makes me calm.
God's in heaven, and I turned seven.
When I am meeve, you will never leave.
What's my stuff, I'm not rough.

Thank you for considering how you can help Owen rise above autism.

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Jonathan D. Miller 
Maple Valley, WA
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