Autism Treatment Center of America®
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Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues

Chapter 6 Part II

One evening, before we put Raun to bed, we sat with him in our bedroom and watched him walk around and play with our shoes. Suddenly, passing in front of the mirror, he became captivated by an image he saw there. Although he had certainly passed by the mirror many times, tonight something notably different happened. He stopped, startled by his own image. For the first time, he appeared mesmerized by a commanding form - the full-length reflection of himself.

He surveyed his image cautiously. He moved back and forth from left to right. He walked directly to the mirror and touched his reflection nose to nose. His eyes beamed like electric lights. He moved out of the path of the mirror, then slowly looked back into it. As he did, he met his own face, saw his own eyes. He moved directly forward again, touched his belly to the belly of the child in the mirror, then tipped his head to the mirror as the twin facing him duplicated his movement with absolute precision. Suddenly, he emitted a wild, unfamiliar shout - a cry of incredible excitement and joy. He began to grunt and laugh with elation. Raun Kahlil had discovered himself. I turned to Samahria, amazed and dazzled. Tears streamed down her face. I felt wetness under my own eyes and realized that I, too, was crying. The first day of creation - a new dimension. Raun had found himself, and it was a joyful experience.

Through the tears, we continued to observe our son. He played interactively with his image in a way that he had never before done with anyone or anything else. This sweet little boy made huge sweeping circles with his arms, engaged not only in his own movement but also in the motion reflected in the mirror. He stuck out his tongue, then shook his head and giggled. He jumped up and down, animated and engaged, softly babbling some primitive language as he continued to play hide-and-seek with himself.

Then he explored his hands, his feet, and his hair very carefully. As he touched different body parts, his reflected self did the same. He picked up his pajama top to expose his chest and tummy to his new partner. For twenty beautiful and gripping minutes, Raun said hello to himself. He discovered the oasis in the desert - himself. The months we spent working with him had prepared him for this very moment; he had readied himself each time he reached out for fleeting moments to touch his environment. This time, he enjoyed the encounter immensely.

Samahria and I spent a quiet and dreamy evening together. We drove to the beach and walked along the seashore as the Atlantic pounded the sand. No need to talk. We held each other's hands as we strolled. Moontides rocked the ocean back and forth, creating huge waves. Glimmers of light bounced between us as we moved through the thick mist. Ebb tide.

Chapter 6 Part III