Welcome to Raffy's Trust.org!

This is our little boy Raffy, as you can see he is drop dead gorgeous but he has some very serious difficulties in life.
Please take a few minutes to read the info and have a browse of the Son-Rise® link.
Thanks, Bri & Ruth

Sunday 22 April 2012

Ahoy there me hearties!

Here are Raffy and sis playing pirates today! They came up with the headgear when they found the fabric offcuts when I shortened some pyjama trousers. Raffy added an eye patch and insisted on having his new pom pom monster hanging off his bandana. Very Jack Sparrow!

The only thing he needed help with was attaching his purple monster! He is becoming much more spatially aware and physically self aware. Does that make sense? He is a very awkward mover and is still unconfident when negotiating any step/s or irregular surface, especially if it is new. He finds it difficult to locate his body and fully 'inhabit' his body. He has low muscle tone and a wobbly gait. However he is gradually taking ownership of his physicality through confidence and lots of easy Son-Rise techniques during play.
We have lots of action based games in the playroom and we strongly encourage Raffy to join in by 'modelling' the action and them specifically telling him how to move and position himself to achieve it.

Last night was wash and trim night. I always cut his hair and it's generally a grab and hack scenario with lots of mess. It was bedtime and I didn't want to hoover so I found a lid from a cardboard box and told Raffy to hold it underneath the scissors! Amazingly, he held it up and moved it around his head when I asked, to catch the strands when they fell. I helped position the lid but he kept it still and the whole operation was very smooth. Great advances in attention span, taking directions and muscle tone!

In fact every day Raffy is doing new things. Some may sound simple but they are adding up to a boy who is increasingly unifying and grounding himself.

Here are some varied examples...

Sitting down to eat with us
Sitting down in a cafe to eat (instead of running off immediately!)
Asking 'Why?' questions during role play games
Sitting on the toilet (watch this space!)
Talking to other kids and wanting to interact (as opposed to talking 'at')
Drinking out of varied cups, bottles and through straws

Wearing socks in the house (normally barefoot)
Taking his own shoes and socks off when asked
Taking directions from a stranger (in a shoe shop, when getting his feet measured)
Trying several pairs of shoes on and then choosing his favourite! (A biggie!)

He is climbing that mountain!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Playing and talking

Raffy and small sis are spending more time together in the weekday afternoons.
They play all sorts of games together these days. Hide and seek, the ogre game and lots of imaginary capers involving volcanoes, wounded creatures who need a doctor and undersea adventures!

Sometimes Raffy leads the game and other times small girl is giving the directions. However the exciting thing is watching them both pretend and asking each other questions.

Raffy has just stared to ask 'Why?' in these games of pretend. I think it's the start of Raffy having even more interest in our world and greater involvement in an external life. Very exciting and funny!
Watching sister pretending to be upset and hearing Raffy say 'Why are you crying little doggie?!'

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Weekly Intention

Every week we have a new Intention which helps us focus on the core attitudes of the Son-Rise Program. This is alongside Raffy's goals which come from the four areas of development - eye contact/non verbal communication, verbal communication, flexibility and interactive attention span.

The Intention and how we interpret it can be used to help us in the playroom and outside of it.

This week the intention is Awareness.
We bring our awareness to Raffy and think about how perfect he is now and how brilliantly he is doing. This can help us celebrate all the great eye contact, language and interaction he is showing us in the playroom.
We celebrate Raffy very literally by telling him and cheering him on. "Thank you for telling me which game you want to play, Raffy! I love it when you look at my eyes and tell me what you want! Yay!"

Profound respect is at the heart of a Son-Rise Program and we practice showing and telling Raffy exactly how we appreciate all the extra effort he puts in to interact with us. It can seem difficult and unnatural at first but it becomes easier and feels very beautiful and joyful.
We are aware of ourselves and how we can help him achieve so much just by being mentally and emotionally present and fully aware of him. This helps us celebrate ourselves in the playroom and feel energised, excited and enthusiastic.

Being aware of Raffy can help us be present and also listen closely to the things he is saying and more alert to his body language and how we can 'join' him in his insular activities.
'Joining' is the key to bonding and building a bridge in to Raffy's inner world.
We join him when he is involved in his repetitive activities and interests that soothe and reassure him.
It is the ultimate way of loving Raffy and showing him that he is respected and accepted.

Outside the playroom we can use the intention to experience our lives in the present. We can see it as a way of being less judgmental of other people. Being aware that we are master of our own emotions, that other people are always doing the best they can. This awareness can bring us more serenity and enjoyment of our lives. Being aware of the sun on our skin. Being aware and appreciative of being amongst people who care about us etc etc.
Having an intention each week can be a very powerful aid to living a happy and loving life.

Trip to Sheffield in Dec 2011... home of the Son-Rise Program!

We made it to Raffy's Intensive week just before Christmas! We had a truly wonderful week with some of the most knowledgeable, loving and respectful people I have ever met.
Raffy had a blast, a full time, 1-1 week with child facilitators and SR teachers. By Thursday the team knew him as well as his mum and dad and had the expertise to clarify and train us to help him further.
I hope you enjoy these photos...

Saturday 7 April 2012

This is my 4th attempt!

Realised how I'm completely overdue with a fresh blog post... I've had 3 previous attempts to write and got disturbed each time.
Anyway here are some pictures of our boy!

We had our Son-Rise Intensive back in December 2011 and it was of course, AMAZING. I feel rather guilty for not managing to keep this page alive. Apologies.

I have some pictures of Mr R with the Son-Rise team so I will post those next and an update. Things are very different here, we've had a lot of changes in our program.
This is Raffy and sis last Friday on a chilly beach at Frinton. Socks and shoes off and making teeny tiny sandcakes!
We've never managed a trip to the beach before. A first!