The therapeutic concept behind Son-Rise is very similar to that of Floortime: parents become therapists, and engage with their child at their child's own level of interest. Over time, relationships and skills emerge. Some of the key differences include a tremendous focus on the idea of the family as the key to success, and love and respect as the tools for success. There is also a focus on the home as the source of security and the foundation for growth. In practice, this translates into a series of on-site workshops for parents and children, followed by a very unusual lifestyle in which parents (or one parent) is homebound for a very protracted period of time. Son-Rise does recommend that families recruit volunteers to work with their children in the home.
Pros: For families seeking a sense of community and empowerment, Son-Rise offers all of that and more. It also makes use of many of the same developmental approaches as Floortime and RDI to help children with autism to engage and communicate. Cons: Son-Rise is expensive, and of all of the developmental therapies it is the most demanding. Even more than RDI, it places the family at the center of the therapeutic approach. For families with limited time or money, Son-Rise can become quite overwhelming. It also seems to be the case that Son-Rise families are extremely dedicated to the therapy and the organization -- which, depending upon your own inclinations, can be a plus or a minus.
National Institute of Mental Health Fact Sheet on Autism
Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders Pinto-Martin and Levy, Current Treatment Options in Neurology 2004, 6:391-400
"Going to the Heart: An Introductory Guide for Parents." Gutstein, Steven and Sheeley, Rachel. © 2004 Gutstein, Sheely & Associates, P.C.
The Autism Institute Website and information supplied by The Autism Institute
Greenspan, Stanley. "The Child with Special Needs." C 1998: Perseus Books.
Romanowski, Patricia et al. "The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome." C 2000: Crown Publishers, New York, NY.
The Autism Treatment Center of America Website(home of the Son-Rise Program) and articles contained therein.