Head To The Plastic Factory April 16 To Raise Funds For A Unique Home Autism Therapy Program
Some of Nagoya’s most popular musicians are donating their time and talent for a fund raising concert at the Plastic Factory on 16 April. Performers include Bob Vidler, Brian Cullen and Sarah Mulvey, David Dycus, Tomo Shagger Band, and Ghost of Matsubara – Acoustic. Door price is ¥2,000.
Our 4-year-old son Lenny was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) while we were living in Hawaii in 2014. We discovered The Son-Rise Program®, an innovative home-based, parent-led treatment, which we are running at home together with a team of 9 wonderful volunteers.
Proceeds from the concert will go toward the costs of inviting a Son-Rise teacher, Gerd Winkler, from the United States to our home in June so the entire team can receive his advice directly.
Lenny was born in Nagoya and up until around one year old he was a very sociable, responsive child who picked up words early. He then stopped using words, became less responsive, avoided eye contact, and did not point at objects. These are indications of ASD.
ASD is a developmental disability that makes communication difficult with others. People on the autism spectrum may exhibit repetitive verbal or non-verbal behaviors and sensory-related issues. It was incredibly painful to see our child slip away from us. In desperation we contacted various doctors in Japan: the advice was to “relax,” “don’t do anything too stressful,” and “see how things go.” We found there is virtually no support here for people in our situation. The initial information we found presented a very pessimistic outlook. We felt powerless and unable to help our child.
When Lenny was around two-and-a-half, we moved to Hawaii temporarily. The US places high priority on early intervention, and we gratefully accepted services through the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Services program. A specialist diagnosed Lenny with ASD.
Tomoko discovered The Son-Rise Program after accidently finding the movie “Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love” on YouTube. This film is a dramatization of the story of a family whose son was diagnosed in the mid-70s with severe autism. The experts told his parents they should give up on him and that they would be better off if he were institutionalized. Rather than listen to them, they chose to work with their son at home in order to express to him their love and acceptance. They saw him as a gift. They became the founders of The Son-Rise Program.
The Son-Rise Program is a parent-led, child-centered, home-based therapy program based on love and respect. It places great importance on the attitude of those caring for the child. We are the ones who change and grow first before seeking change and growth from our child. Accepting our children as they are, we celebrate them with a non-judgmental attitude and with the greatest respect, love, and gratitude.
Tomoko went to a Son-Rise training course at the Autism Treatment Center of America™ in Massachusetts in late 2014. After starting the Son-Rise Program for ourselves, we decided this was the best path for us to reach Lenny.
There are no Son-Rise professionals in Japan, which is why we need to bring Gerd over from the US. We invited him into our home for the first time for two amazing days in November 2015. We experienced the true power of the Son-Rise Program through his guidance, and we strengthened our team. Since then, Lenny’s growth has been remarkable – his social communication has improved drastically. When Lenny was first diagnosed, he would completely ignore or reject interaction with people. These days he loves playing with people.
Before Lenny was born, Ben was active in Nagoya’s live music scene. We are honored that his friends are getting together for this cause to be part of what promises to be a fabulous live show. Please come! You can make a difference to people’s lives and enjoy some great music at the same time. For more information about Team Lenny, please check out on Facebook www.facebook.com/teamlenny0216/
Fundraising Gig Supporting Team Lenny
April 16 at The Plastic Factory
Doors Open at 18:45
19: 15 Bob Vidler
20: 00 Brian Cullen and Sarah Mulvey
20: 45 David Dycus
21: 30 Ghost of Matsubara (Acoustic)
22: 15 Tomo Shagger Band
23: 00 Aya Kawakami & Takashi Terada
Entry is ¥2,000 (Includes 1 drink)