Jonathan Levy uses principles of the Son-Rise Program (winner of the 2011 Autism One national conference award for Best Autism Therapy) in his work with autistic children and their families. These principles include:
- Making social interaction the number one priority. Some treatments focus on skills that do not address the larger issues that autism presents. Rather than focus on math or writing (though these could still be taught within the context of the Son-Rise Program), there is a focus on being with people in deeper and more frequent interactions.
- Believing that recovery is possible. While full recovery is rare, it does happen, and the vast majority of the children worked with show clear and dramatic changes in key skills: ability to have meaningful relationships, eye contact, attention span, speech, self-help skills, sleeping, aggressive behaviors, crying, motor skills, and many others.
- A belief that each child is unique. Each program must be tailored specifically to a child’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations.
- Creating an optimal educational environment for the child, so he can learn exponentially faster.
- Children respond to the attitudes of the adults around them. There is a focus on how you feel as you are with your child, as well as tools to help you feel better in the tough moments.
- An enthusiastic and playful approach that combines the child’s motivations and challenges helps children to work harder both during ‘program time’ and the rest of their day.