From The Autism Treatment Center Of America

The Sheffield, Massachusetts-based Autism Treatment Center of America is offering a free 25-minute phone consultation for parents seeking help and guidance in raising a child with autism.
Parents helping parents
The Autism Treatment Center of America grew out of the experience of famed authors/teachers Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman when their son, Raun, was diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic. Instead of institutionalizing him as the experts recommended, they designed an innovative, home-based, child-centered approach, which successfully reached their son. From a little boy who was mute and withdrawn and had an IQ of less than 30, Raun was transformed into a highly verbal, socially engaging youngster with a near genius IQ. He subsequently graduated with honors from Brown University and is now an international lecturer on autism and a teacher at the Autism Treatment Center of America.

After publication of the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, recounting their family's story, and an NBC-TV award-winning movie based on the book, the Kaufmans were flooded with requests for help. The Autism Treatment Center of America was the result, and since 1983, The Son-Rise Programīƒĸ has helped thousands of families from around the country and the world. Parents and professionals from 66 countries have come to the Berkshire campus to learn to implement The Son-Rise Program with their children and patients.

"The foundation of The Son-Rise Program rests upon this idea: the children show us the way in and we show them the way out," says Raun K. Kaufman who is fully recovered from autism. "This means that, rather than forcing children to conform to a world that they don't understand, we begin by joining them in their own world first -- before asking them to join us in our world. We find that children consistently look at and interact more with people when they are sincerely joined in their repetitive activities. We are teaching these relationships by building on common interests. In this way, we establish a mutual bond and connection. This bond -- this relationship -- becomes the basis for teaching skills and inspiring growth."

Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association cited a ten-fold increase in autism over the previous decade. Confirming this sharp rise, the US Department of Education said that autism is increasing at the rate of 10% to 17% per year and has projected a total population with autism of 4 million Americans by the next decade.

Autism is a complex developmental disorder. Symptoms and characteristics of autism can range from mild to severe. Some common behaviors are: little or no language; lack of eye contact; tantrums, repetitive behaviors and withdrawal from human contact with a preference for interacting with objects rather than people.

Tags: autistic

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