WHO ARE YOU - PROFESSIONAL
Photographs by Christopher M. Gauthier, Evidence and Artifacts
Sarah Leonard and Raun K. Kaufman
"The children show us the way in, and then we show them the way out. Everybody loves the second have of this sentence, but if we want to do that, we have to start with the first half of this sentence. We have to cross into their world first; hold their hands on their terms, and then, yes, we can lead them back across the bridge from their world to ours. That's the keystone. Rather than focus on this behavior issue, of how do we stamp out the autistic behaviors and the stims, and promote the normal looking behaviors, we ask how can we create a relationship with this child and how can we get this child to want to relate to other people. That means that rather forcing our children to conform to a world they don't yet understand, we start by joining them in their world. The first principle is called 'Joining' and probably the most controversial piece of the program is basically all those stimming behaviors, the hand flapping, the repeating lines from movies, running around in circles, or ripping little pieces of paper, or if you have a child with Asperger's talking about airplanes over and over again; All of that everyone is trying to stamp out, not only do we not stamp it out, but we literally participate in it, joining in with the very behaviors that everyone else is saying to stop.
— Raun K. Kaufman
Raun K. Kaufman is an international speaker, writer and teacher for The Son-Rise Program® at the Autism Treatment Center of America™. In his work with families, children, and professionals from around the world, Mr. Kaufman brings a distinctive qualification to the realm of Autism treatment his own personal history.
At 18 months, Raun was diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic. Although advised to institutionalize Raun, his parents, authors/teachers Samahria and Barry Neil Kaufman, instead created an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an effort to reach their son. Their work, which developed into a unique methodology now known as The Son-Rise Program, enabled Raun to recover completely from his autism, transforming him from a mute, withdrawn child with a tested I.Q. of less than 30 into an outgoing, social boy with a near-genius I.Q. Raun’s story was recounted by his father, Barry Neil Kaufman, in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, and was also the subject of an award-winning NBC television movie, Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love.
After graduating from an Ivy League university (Brown University) with a degree in Biomedical Ethics, Raun K. Kaufman continued his professional development as the director of an educational center for school-aged children as well as a presenter and lecturer at conferences and symposia worldwide. Now, Mr. Kaufman works at the Autism Treatment Center of America and is an integral member of The Son-Rise Program that began with him. Raun serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. Raun is working on a new book that will be released later this year.
Raun Kaufman presented at the USAAA 6th Annual World Conference in Seattle, Washington in 2011. You can download the video or audio presentation (DVD also available) from the presentation, "Autism Revolution: Breakthrough Strategies for Parents".