The Son-Rise Program (sometimes known as the Options Method) is a type of relationship-based intervention. It is used to help children on the autism spectrum and children with other disabilities.
The Son-Rise Program is based on the idea that children on the autism spectrum have trouble forming relationships with other people but can be helped to develop those relationships through playful interaction with an adult.
The adult follows the child’s lead rather than superimposing their own ideas of what the child should do. This includes ‘joining’ the child in his or behaviour rather than trying to stop it. So, if the child is stacking blocks or flapping his hands, the adult does the same.
The aim is not simply to copy the activity but to build trust. By doing the same as the child, the adult shows the child that he or she is loved and accepted without judgment. It then becomes much easier to build a relationship. As the relationship develops the adult is able to use the child’s own motivation to teach him or her new skills based around his or her own interests.
There is almost no research (two very poor quality studies) to suggest that the Son-Rise Program is an effective intervention for children and young people on the autism spectrum.
However, we believe that some elements of the approach (such as the emphasis on following the child’s own interests and reciprocal interaction with the parents) may be beneficial to some children and young people on the autism spectrum.
Because of this, we feel that further research into the programme is justified. This research should
Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions