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As a boy, Raun Kaufman was diagnosed by multiple experts as severely autistic, with an IQ below 30, and destined to spend his life in an institution. Years later, Raun graduated with a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and has become a passionate and articulate autism expert and educator with no trace of his former condition.
So what happened?
Thanks to The Son-Rise Program, a revolutionary method created by his parents, Raun experienced a full recovery from autism. (His story was recounted in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues and in the award-winning NBC television movie Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love.) In Autism Breakthrough, Raun presents the ground-breaking principles behind the program that helped him and thousands of other families with special children. Autism, he explains, is frequently misunderstood as a behavioral disorder when, in fact, it is a social relational disorder. Raun explains what it feels like to be autistic and shows how and why The Son-Rise Program works.
A step-by-step guide with clear, practical strategies that readers can apply immediately—in some cases, parents see changes in their children in as little as one day—Autism Breakthrough makes it possible for these special children to defy their original often-very-limited prognoses. Parents and educators learn how to enable their children to create meaningful, caring relationships, vastly expand their communications, and to participate successfully in the world.
An important work of hope, science, and progress, Autism Breakthrough presents the powerful ideas and practical applications that have already changed the lives of families all over the world.
Diagnosed as severely autistic, Kaufman was the first to benefit from the Son-Rise program for curing autistic children, developed by his parents, and here offers a practical and upbeat introduction for parents seeking to use the program's strategies. Now director of global education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, Kaufman explains how the Son-Rise program frames autism as a social-relational disorder, rather than a behavioral disorder, and recommends meeting the child where his own interests lie in order to build a personal bond. His methods for working through four milestones of socialization nonverbal communication, verbal communication, interactive attention span, and flexibility offer a helpful road map, with methodology further explained in online supplements to each chapter. He offers an academic paper about empirical research on the program as a nod to skeptical readers, but his chapter espousing nutritional approaches to autism throws him back into the fringe camp. The most appealing aspect of the author's approach is the limitless hope he offers to discouraged parents: "what your child has done (or not done) up until now tells you nothing about what he can do in the future." His personal faith in the program, his warmth, and the targeted application of principles will encourage readers to try his methods even if they are undecided about the supporting evidence.