The researchers reported that their study was the first to experimentally evaluate the effects of Son-Rise. Previously published reports about Son-Rise were primarily case studies. Although the case studies suggested that Son-Rise could be effective, experimental studies provide more solid evidence of effectiveness.
In this study, twelve children with autism participated. Six were assigned to a Son-Rise treatment group and the remaining six made up the control group. Children in the Son-Rise group received forty hours of Son-Rise intervention over a five day period (eight hours per day). The intervention was provided by Son-Rise trained staff without involvement of the families. It is my understanding that this is not the usual method for Son-Rise. Usually, families receive the intensive training in order to work with their own children.
The researchers stated that the purpose of this study was to be a feasibility study that could lead to additional research on the Son-Rise program, particularly randomized control trials. Obviously, the results of any single study are not enough to establish any program as an evidence-based practice.
According to the researchers, the study results suggest that the forty hours of Son-Rise intervention led to increases in social-communication. Specifically, increases were noted in:
- Gesture communication,
- Number of times the child turned his head toward the adult,
- Duration of episodes of social interaction, and
- Total time spent in social interactions.
The researchers suggest that more research is needed. This blog post is only a very brief overview of the study. For precise and complete results and study information, please read the full article.
Title: Promoting Child-Initiated Social-Communication in Children with Autism: Son-Rise Program Intervention Effects
Authors: Kat Houghtona, Julia Schuchardb, Charlie Lewisa, Cynthia K. Thompson
Journal: Journal of Communication Disorders
Issue: Volume 46, Issues 5–6, September–December 2013, Pages 495–506
Please note that the Son-Rise Program®, the research study's authors, nor the Journal of Communication disorders are affiliated with Positively Autism and they do not endorse Positively Autism in any way.