Please enjoy this inspirational story of Raun K. Kaufman’s very own Son-Rise Program journey.
In the 1970’s, when our son Raun recovered fully from Autism through The Son-Rise Program, he accomplished this for several reasons.
1. We never judged his unique repetitive behaviors as inappropriate or “bad.”
2. This allowed us to freely join him in his world of Autism. (Whenever he rocked, we rocked; whenever he flapped his hands, we flapped ours.)
3. Because we’d created this safe and supportive environment, Raun could express himself while those around him (volunteers we trained) showed him caring and appreciation.
As a result, Raun became extraordinarily motivated to dare to do what was so difficult for him, though easy for most typical children. Taking miniscule steps, he would allow himself to look at us for only seconds at a time (after avoiding eye contact for over a year), and he would push himself to make sounds in an attempt to form even the simplest words (though he had been essentially mute). As a child with Autism, he had always pulled away from being touched. But now he began to allow us to give him small tokens of affection – touching his hand or tapping gently on his leg. We celebrated his every move – smiling, applauding, and cheering.
As we watched Raun move out of the safety of his self-encapsulated universe and inch into our world, we believed his developing abilities must have been supported by neural growth … as if Raun had pressed himself to grow or reconfigure his neural pathways to support his reaching out. (Neuroplasticity certainly hadn’t been talked about then.) Some clinicians smiled with skepticism at our assertions. However, more recent research in the rehabilitation of stroke victims supports our understanding of the body’s ability to reconstruct itself neurologically in response to a person’s motivation to reclaim the ability to move limbs or walk or talk. We joined Raun in his behaviors with passion and love. In turn, he became inspired and motivated to do what appeared nearly impossible. Today, with our staff, which includes Raun as one of the senior teachers, we continue to help thousands of families, teaching them how to help their children to take the same healing journey that our son took years ago.
Love and Smiles,