What is the Son-Rise Program®
History of the Son-Rise Program®
The Son-Rise Program® Principles
What is the Son-Rise Program®?
Since 1983, the Autism Treatment Center of America® has provided innovative training programs for parents and professionals caring for children challenged by Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and other developmental difficulties. The Son-Rise Program teaches a specific and comprehensive system of treatment and education designed to help families and caregivers enable their children to dramatically improve in all areas of learning, development, communication and skill acquisition. It offers highly effective educational techniques, strategies and principles for designing, implementing and maintaining a stimulating, high-energy, one-on-one, home-based, child-centered program.
What Makes The Son-Rise Program® Different?
The Son-Rise Program was the first to suggest that children with these diagnoses had the potential for extraordinary healing and growth.
The Son-Rise Program innovated an educational treatment modality which included joining children instead of going against them. The program places parents as key teachers, therapists and directors of their own programs and utilizes the home as the most nurturing environment in which to help their children. The Son-Rise Program dared to suggest that respect and deep caring would be the most important factor impacting a child's motivation to learn, and from the beginning has made love and acceptance a meaningful part of every teaching process. Employing this attitude, we first seek to create bonding and a safe environment. We then apply sound, time-tested educational strategies pioneered by The Son-Rise Program. These principles remain a cornerstone of our approach.
History Of The Son-Rise Program
The Son-Rise Program was created by authors/teachers Barry ("Bears") Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman when their son, Raun, was diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic.
Although advised to institutionalize him because of his "hopeless, lifelong condition," the Kaufmans instead designed an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an attempt to reach their little boy.
The Kaufmans' unique program, which marked a complete departure from existing methods of treatment, transformed Raun from a mute, withdrawn child with an IQ of less than 30 into a highly verbal, socially interactive youngster with a near-genius IQ.
Bearing no traces of his former condition, Raun graduated from an Ivy League university and went on to become the director of an educational center for school-aged children. He currently teaches families and individuals at the Autism Treatment Center of America. Following the publication of the best-selling book, Son-Rise (now updated to Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues), and the award-winning NBC-TV movie Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love, the Kaufmans were flooded with requests for help.
Responding to this demand, the Kaufmans established The Option Institute and the Autism Treatment Center of America, where they have been offering The Son-Rise Program since 1983.
For more than 3 decades, the Kaufmans and their dedicated, highly trained staff have been helping thousands of parents and professionals from around the world reach children previously considered “unreachable.”
Individuals from 130 different countries have attended programs at the Autism Treatment Center of America in Massachusetts and at our various international outreach programs.
The Kaufmans are the authors of 12 books. There are over 3 million copies of their books in print, in 22 languages in over 65 countries. Several of these books are required reading for courses at more than 280 universities.
The Son-Rise Program® and the Kaufmans have been featured in over 2,000 articles and programs appearing in major media worldwide, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Self Magazine, Parenting Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The BBC (British Broadcasting Company) and Good Morning America.
The Kaufman's works have been endorsed by such well-respected figures as Coretta Scott King, Jimmy Carter, Dr. Carl Rogers, Deepak Chopra, Bernie Siegel, Norman Cousins, Lou Holtz, John Bradshaw, Dr. Wayne Dyer and many others.
Program Principles – The Son-Rise Program
Principles for treating Autism that make the Son-Rise Program so unique and effective
Your child's potential is limitless
We do not believe in "false" hope. While we certainly cannot predict what any given child will achieve, we do not believe any child or parent is served when others decide in advance what that child will not achieve. No parent should ever have to apologize for believing in their child. We don't apologize for it either.
Autism is not a behavioral disorder
It is a relational, interactional disorder. At its core, Autism is a neurological challenge where children have difficulty relating and connecting to those around them. Most of their so-called behavioral challenges stem from this relational deficit. That's why our dynamic, enthusiastic, play-oriented methods focus so extensively on socialization and rapport building. Of course, we want you to enjoy your child, but, even more important, we want your child to enjoy you.
Motivation, not repetition, holds the key to all learning
Many traditional modalities "go against the grain" by sitting a child down and endeavoring to teach through endless repetition. Instead, we uncover each child's unique motivations and use these to teach our children the skills they need to learn. That way, we have the child's willing participation, as well as a longer attention span and increased retention and generalization of skills.
Your child's "stimming" behaviors have important meaning and value
We have a deep acceptance of and respect for our children. That enables us to reach across the chasm separating their world from ours by doing something bold and unusual. We join, rather than stop, a child's repetitive, exclusive and ritualistic behaviors. Doing so builds rapport and connection, the platform for all future education and development. Participating with a child in these behaviors facilitates eye contact, social development and inclusion of others in play.
The parent is the child's best resource
Although we have had the opportunity to work with many extremely supportive, caring and helpful professionals, we have seen nothing yet to equal the power of the parent. No one else can match the unparalleled love, deep dedication, long-term commitment and day in, day out experience with their child that parents possess. Therefore, we seek to empower parents. In fact, we spend much of our time and effort providing parents with attitudinal training, listening to what they have to say, and providing them with the skills training they need to help their child like no one else can. We help parents to be confident directors and teachers for their own child's program.
Your child can progress in the right environment
Most children on the Autism Spectrum are highly over stimulated by a plethora of distractions that most of us do not even notice. We show you how to create an optimal learning environment so that distractions are eliminated and interactions are facilitated. In addition, this work/playroom drastically reduces the push-pull control battles that inhibit progress and useful interaction, thus paving the way not only for progressive learning, but also for a sweetness of interaction that parents yearn for.
Parents and professionals are most effective when they feel comfortable with their child, optimistic about their child's capabilities and hopeful about their child's future
Oftentimes parents are given prognoses that are frightening and negative. They are told what their children will never do and can never have. We do not believe that anyone has the right to tell a parent what their child cannot achieve. We help parents focus on their attitude and reclaim their optimism and hopefulness. We help them to see the potential in their children and then "go for the gold." From this perspective, we have seen, all things are possible. Additionally, caring professionals are not often given the resources, guidance or support that they need to help the children that they are working with. We understand the pressures that many professionals deal with and offer a unique attitudinal perspective that allows you to feel both re-energized and armed with excellent tools to help your students.
The Son-Rise Program® can be combined effectively with other complimentary therapies such as biomedical interventions, sensory integration therapy, dietary changes (gluten/casein-free), Auditory Integration therapy and others
The Son-Rise Program® is designed to be customized to each child's needs. Having worked with thousands of children who have had a wide array of challenges, we have observed that when additional therapies are included, and applied using The Son-Rise Program® principles, the intervention is even more effective than when used individually. Some approaches, which contain principles and techniques which are contradictory to our approach, have been found to undermine the effectiveness of the program and confuse the child. Our staff helps each family determine the most effective intervention for their child.