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ONE life: BBC - about a twin with autism and the Son-Rise programme...

(21 Posts)
Chocol8 Sun 26-Jun-05 00:14:15

...Entitled "The twin who could only scream".

About a four year old boy, Thomas who was dx with severe autism. His parents try the Son-Rise programme in America....which is soon to be introduced in Britain - is this what InternationalGirl posted about?

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, it is on Monday BBC1 at 10.35 - 11.15pm. x

InternationalGirl Sun 26-Jun-05 11:52:59

I have no experience of Son-Rise - only seen something briefly on the internet one time. Seems to me like Son-Rise is a very rigid and regimented programme.

We have used ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and are beginning, in a very rough way, RDI (Relationship Development Intervention). RnB is going to be the pro at RDI .

InternationalGirl Sun 26-Jun-05 11:55:36

...but I might take a look on Monday night anyway... thanks for telling us about it.

Chocol8 Sun 26-Jun-05 12:34:50

Ah, sorry InternationalGirl - I wasn't sure if it was you but have heard something about Son-Rise from somewhere. I think one of the Mums at our group tried it a couple of years ago.

Davros Sun 26-Jun-05 20:41:32

We've disected and spat out Sonrise on here before Its also called Options if you can face looking through the dreaded archive..... The Options Institute believes that it is much LESS regimented than ABA and their theory is to join a child in their stims/behaviours to get them to understand that they can trust you and then they will be able to do things with/for you. There is NO evidence of effectiveness as they "choose" not to take data or compare cases etc as they want to put all their resources into helping children (ripping off parents imo). I'm sure there are some good things about it, if nothing else, helping parents come to terms with their situation and accept their child but it isn't known to have any beneficial or long term effect directly on the children.......

coppertop Mon 27-Jun-05 19:53:47

Is this definitely on? According to the TV pages it's One Foot in the Grave on at 10.35pm on BBC1. Is it BBC Scotland or something instead?

Blossomhill Mon 27-Jun-05 19:56:16

It's on tomorrow I think coppertop!

coppertop Mon 27-Jun-05 20:38:26

Thanks, BH!

TheRealMrsF Mon 27-Jun-05 22:04:03

Here is wot i got off the bbc website:

"To be shown on Tuesday 28 June, 10.35pm, BBC ONE
At first, the twins both developed at a normal rate but at 18 months, Thomas regressed. He lost the language he had acquired and slowly retreated into his own world, ceasing all communication with his family.

Four years on, Thomas and Aimee are far from identical. Thomas is severely autistic. He likes jumping and spinning coins. He screams and shouts and cannot speak. Aimee, like most four year olds, loves drawing, playing and going to school.

Thomas was diagnosed a year ago. His parents felt there was little hope for his future until they came across an advertisement for The Son-Rise Program® - an American treatment for autism.

Parents learn extensive techniques and then create a specially designed play room - a distraction-free environment where they can work intensively with their autistic child. They enter their child’s exclusive world by copying their play, with the aim that the child will reciprocate and slowly enter their world.

The programme is now in the UK, giving hope to despairing parents who have, until now, been unable to relate to their children. The Son-Rise Program promises to bring children as far across the bridge from autism to recovery as possible.

ONE life follows Thomas' parents as they embark on the programme determined to give their son the best chance in life. "

coppertop Mon 27-Jun-05 22:09:03

Ooooh! Thanks, MrsF!

TheRealMrsF Tue 28-Jun-05 23:22:12

well....i found this upsetting.

I hated the bit when the dad stood in the way of the TV and then shouted "Booh" at his son.

I hated the way he kept telling the child "i'm going to get you out of this" etc.

I am speaking as a mum of "VERBAL" maybe i don't have a clue.... but to "take away " my son's 'Problems'...their "autism'...would take THEM away from me.

I see now what many of you have said in the past about 'therapies' that believe tey can cure autism.

coppertop Tue 28-Jun-05 23:36:58

I didn't like the way the little girl had picked up on the idea that her brother was somehow losing his autism. It made me feel very uncomfortable tbh.

Pages Wed 29-Jun-05 18:53:56

Bugger bugger, I meant to watch this and fell asleep. My DS's pre-school teacher counsellor recommended this for DS, though I don't know anything about it. Doesn't seem like any of you have anything positive to say about it though...

Davros, I had been advised against ABA for DS (by the PSTC) because he is not the type of child who would respond well to a regimented programme (DS hates being pushed into doing anything, and does learn best through free play) - do you think son-rise is regimented? I know you know what you are talking about, so value your opinion.

Anyone got any experience of son-rise or anything good to say about it? By the way DS is not autistic, he is very much in "our" world, but has developmental delay in all areas.

Davros Wed 29-Jun-05 21:54:48

I thought this programme was deeply disturbing, I felt so sorry for those parents and the parts showing the presentations just seemed exploitative. I know I would be expected to think this but I watched in in the hope that I would see something that would change my mind. I don't know why they are saying it is new in the UK, it has been around for as long as I have in the autism world and that is at least 8 years. When the Consultant came to visit, the part he did that worked was basically ABA, don't give the child what they want until they at least attempt whatever it is you want, in this case trying to say a word. You can see that they were getting somewhere, it is a fact that ALL interventions work to a certain extent, its just how well, how fast and for how long.
Pages, whoever recommended Options/Son Rise and said ABA is too regimented is basically very misinformed. The thing about Son Rise, imo, is that its described and presented in a way that appeals to parents' emotions, ABA is dry and academic and is basically not trying to sell itself, at least not in the way that Son Rise is. ABA has structure and a plan but, if it is too regimented for a child then it is not being done well, its easy to compare bad ABA with good something-else but good ABA is by far superior in terms of actual teaching, managing behaviour, building a relationship etc than anything, IMO of course again. There are 100s of research papers showing the effectiveness of ABA, not all as programs for children, but as a general teaching method, there is NOTHING for Son Rise! They had no real communication strategy, no visual timetabling etc, no attempt to use signing. I'm afraid that, even with volunteers (and who should do this work for nothing?!) those parents are going to be disappointed and exhausted.

coppertop Thu 30-Jun-05 10:15:09

Dh and I sat cringeing through the presentation scenes. I still don't get the point of writing a letter to the child - or am I missing something really obvious?

beccaboo Thu 30-Jun-05 11:11:01

I thought it was exploitative too. In the presentations, they clearly knew which buttons to press,and I was in tears along with the father as he read out his letter - even though I KNEW my strings were being pulled.

I don't know enough about Son Rise or ABA to say whether they work or not, but I'm guessing that Son Rise probably doesn't come cheap which would make me approach it with caution. They did seem to be getting somewhere with their little boy though, and the consultant was good - but he had to come over from the States, and I think maybe I'd want a bit more hands-on involvement from them. The parents seemed to have gone off-track a bit before he arrived.

Pages Thu 30-Jun-05 18:44:17

Thanks Davros and everyone. I am happy to rule it out on your advice. I think the mums on here are far more informed than most of the professionals that are working with DS tbh.

Davros Fri 01-Jul-05 09:02:49

I also don't agree with the idea of removing ALL stimulation from the environment, far better to try to get a child to function in as normal an environment as possible, with sensitivity of course. Also having to keep the child at home all the time, the parents were told to take him out as little as possible and avoid any stimulation, the mum couldn't even take him shopping. How can anyone think that this gives more freedom and flexibility than ABA???? or anything else for that matter. There was no mention of how or if it was the plan to reintroduce "normal" environments and activities. That is one thing I have against TEACCH, it sounds like they over-accomodate the autism without even attempting to get the child to manage as normal an environment as possible. The reality with TEACCH though is that it is practised in fairly normal schools so distractions are not removed entirely but managed.

Pages Fri 01-Jul-05 16:02:45

Sounds awful - didn't realise this was part of it. Meerkats was saying how much exposing her DS to new environments had helped his development.

JakB Fri 01-Jul-05 22:00:39

I caught the end and was also left feeling disturbed. The programme didn't offer the little boy any alternative method of communication. When he said, 'hello' at the end it reminded me very much of DD's attempts at words in the past- heavily prompt dependent with us saying the word several times before she did and very 'echoey'. I think that autistic children benefit from a variety of approaches- there's alot of Hanen style stuff and, dare I say it, Son Rise type intervention in our programme and we use visual schedules, Teacch-style tasks and lots of SALT type exercises as well as ABA. And, most probably, we may use RDI in the future. I thought their approach was very narrow and the total focus was on spoken language.

Jimjams Sat 02-Jul-05 15:22:13

We caught most of this. I felt sorry for the parents- thought they had taken on far too much (god knows I couldn't be a mum and spend hours and hours on therapy each day-personally I prefer to acvoid doing any therapy at all). Also thought there was faaaar too much emphasis on speech. Bit like me when ds1 was first dxed and speech was my aim, and I thought it would all be OK if only he could speak. These days I don't really care about speech although more language would be good.

The lettrer writing bit- we just looked at each other and said "american" in unison.

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