I’m cleaning up our Son-Rise Program Playroom as I overhear Jackie asking Ka’eo Jr if he wants to get out of the bath tub yet. The next thing I hear is our once non-verbal little Ka’eo Jr say a determined, clear, and confident, “no!”
Jackie immediately celebrates him and says, “Oh Ka’eo, that’s a good ‘no’!”
I smile to myself as I continue to clean up. Then it dawns on me: I wonder just how many households in the country exist, where there is such a thing as a “good no”?
Seriously, how many times across America does a child say “no”, and his parents or caregivers celebrate and say, “Oh that’s a good no!”? Probably not many, huh? Well, I can tell you, without a doubt where the “good no’s” live in our country.
In every Son-Rise Program house, because we believe in celebrating every communication our child with autism attempts. We celebrate every independent thought, every word they’ve understood, and every step they take on the bridge they're building back toward our world.
I haven’t blogged in over 6 months, and THIS is what has brought me back to the keyboard, back to wanting to shout it out to the world. THIS….this CELEBRATION of the Son-Rise house. Such a RARE gem in our fast-paced, what-I-have-is-never-enough society.
What is a Son-Rise Program house? Well, I can tell you, it isn’t JUST a place where families MOVE MOUNTAINS to help their children climb to their highest potential. It isn’t JUST a place where negativity doesn’t matter, doesn’t stop us, and doesn’t hold us down. It IS a place where RESPECT and ACCEPTANCE rule, where LOVE is UNCONDITIONAL.
It is a place where TRYING is the goal! It’s a place where kisses and hugs are not only a daily occurrence but a 40-times-a-day occurrence!
It's a place where silly hats, over-sized sunglasses and stickers are the daily uniform. Where we look to our children for the answers of how to help them, because THEY know themselves best! Where we do not apologize for doing the best we can. Where it is understood, the difference between a weed and a flower is only a judgment.
I'm smiling now, as I enjoy how fantastic it is that in our Son-Rise house, you can randomly break out into song and dance whenever your heart desires...and when you do...everyone joins in!
Some people pity us and think "what a tragedy it must be to have an autistic child".
To that, I press my finger to my lips and say, "shhhh...don't tell anyone but it's actually our little slice of heaven on earth. Where a real-life little angel lives. Where miracles…happen...every…day."
To the Son-Rise Program families across the land. Cheers to you and your undying courage. Cheers to you and your limitless belief in your children and in yourselves. Cheers to you for being unstoppable Forces of Nature.
My love for you all is endless, and our friendship and brotherhood is forever!
Me Ke Aloha,