Earlier this year our sweet little boy was diagnosed with having symptoms of autism. In the beginning we put his lack of speech down to the fact that he was hearing two languages, English from me and Portuguese from his Dad, but seeing Rafael´s lack of interaction with other people, especially children rang warning bells for us. He turns 4 in December and still has under-developed speech. He just says a word here or there.
We believe that Rafael wants to interact but lacks the basic skills which come naturally to neuro-typical people. He gets very upset and frustrated when he´s trying to communicate but just can´t. He´s a cheeky and affectionate little guy with so much to offer the world if only we can break down the frosted glass window that stands between him and us.
Most people don´t realise that it´s possible to make a full recovery from autism. The chances are slim but we want to give Rafi the best chance possible. We believe in him and we plan to gain as much knowledge as possible in order to help him. He is having regular speech therapy and occupational therapy sessions and there is a lot more that we could be doing for him if we had the funding.
A few weeks ago we discovered the Son-Rise Program® run by the Autism Treatment Center of America, a course designed for parents to learn the skills needed to help their children on the autistic spectrum. The approach is very kind and focuses on loving and accepting your child as he or she is now, autism and all. Parents are taught to ´join´ their child in his world, building a bond & a trust so that the child will allow his parents to take him by the hand and lead him over the bridge into our world.
The Autism Treatment Center of America were running the first part of their Son-Rise Program® Start-Up course in London at the end of September and I enrolled. I came home inspired and filled with a renewed confidence that I could help my baby overcome his challenges. My new attitude combined with using the techniques I learnt has definitely shown some improvements in Rafael and we fully plan to persevere and continue. We can´t give up on our baby when we can clearly see that he is capable of so much more.
The second part of the Son-Rise Program® course is in January which is why I have started this fundraiser. With your help I will be able to return and extend my knowledge to help teach Rafael the vital life skills that we take for granted, being able to look someone in the eye, have a meaningful conversation, make a friend, or even just to verbalise that he´s hungry or thirsty.
If the funds we hope to raise exceed our goal then we will put the money towards paying for the Son-Rise Program® Maximum Impact course, a more in-depth training which helps parents to take their child to the next level.
We immensely appreciate any help you are able to give and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Emily, Pedro & Rafael