Frequently Asked Questions

We have found that parents and professionals who are consistently hopeful and optimistic are powerful forces for their children. Though we cannot know ahead of time what a given child will do, we cannot know ahead of time what a given child will never do. Hope is defined as: “The belief that what is wanted, can be had.” Believing substantial change and healing is possible can never be detrimental, but rather is life-affirming and empowering, and the beginning of an effective intervention program. When hope is combined with action, there are no drawbacks – only benefits. Hope and believing in possibilities for our children will always serve us.  

Due to the nature of our program, any amount of time you can devote to your child’s development and education will have an impact. Obviously, the more time you can spend implementing the techniques and principles, the greater opportunity you will be offering your child to grow. Consistency is key. Many families have started by planning to do 10 hours per week of focused 1:1 Son-Rise Program Playroom/Focus Room time with their child and then have built slowly from there. The idea is to take some action. Even if you have a goal towards implementing the program 20 hours per week (which we recommend as an important initial goal), you can begin with 5 hours per week and work your way towards your goal. We have found that the more hours of this intensive 1:1 intervention that a child can experience, the greater benefit to the child and the family. The key being, begin something now.

Programs & Services


Autism Breakthrough by Raun K Kaufman is a detailed guide to The Son-Rise Program, and many parents have successfully used this to begin using the techniques and strategies. The Son-Rise Program Online is a very different experience. This program will walk with you, day by day, through the materials. You will receive direct video presentations from our experienced and highly trained staff, you will have interactive step by step instruction, day-to-day, week-to-week, to be completed within 9 months) You will see videos of our staff demonstrating techniques with children, specific activities, “Make It Happen” Guides and more. This will include 2 Eight week After Courses which give you, each day, specific actions you can take to help your child that day. You will also have access to an ever increasing Library of blogs, videos, and articles written by our staff on a multitude of subjects and other materials to enhance your experience with the program. We highly recommend that after you read the book, you register for the course and continue to move forward in this way to help your child.

The Son-Rise Program Online


We have seen such amazing responses to the program by children and adults who are diagnosed with either High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome! The Son-Rise Program attitudinal foundation is based upon truly accepting a child/adult where they are, and offering them loving guidance and encouragement. Those with this diagnosis can have the ability to communicate in a way that allows for greater understanding and growth, especially in the area of social interaction and learning to connect in a meaningful way with others. If you have a child/or work with an individual with this diagnosis, use the links below which explain the two different ways you can learn the program. Both of which have specific ‘breakout’ materials/sessions designed to specifically address the unique questions and concerns many parents have when trying to help their child with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome.

The Son-Rise Program In-Person
High Functioning Breakout Sessions

The Son-Rise Program Online*

(*Note: The first 3 modules were designed specifically to offer opportunities to choose “Highly Verbal” in order to get the specific information that may apply to your child. In addition, both 8-week After Courses include optional activities for highly verbal children and adults)


Absolutely. We have used the program, and supported parents using this program, for over 35+ years with ‘children’ that are aged 18, 27, 35 and beyond. Certainly the attitudinal principles of love, respect, and enthusiasm can be applied at any age and the educational techniques that you will learn are based much more on addressing a child or person where they are, their current skills and abilities, than their chronological age. Unlike most other programs and professional guidance, we do not believe that there is any age at which a human being is no longer able to grow and learn and change. We have witnessed this again and again as parents continue to dream for their adult children and are so excited to see the benefits of this program at any age.

Who Uses The Son-Rise Program?


The same principles that have allowed us to achieve such measurable gains in social interaction are also applied effectively in teaching academics and daily living skills. The Son-Rise Program is based on creating a respectful, trusting and interactive bond with the child. We then use that relationship as a foundation for education, learning, and language development. We have found that children who are more engaged in an activity, learn more rapidly and interact and communicate more frequently. For many of our children, the roadblock to learning is not a matter of intellect or capacity, but rather a lack of motivation, interest, and ability to stay attentive long enough to learn certain things. We have seen over and over again that when a child can increase his capacity to stay connected with another person, then they can demonstrate great abilities to learn and retain what they learn. We have seen this affect all areas of a child’s life such as: academics, daily living skills, reading, using speech to communicate, following instructions, using the toilet consistently, brushing teeth, and playing games by the rules, to name a few. Many children have “graduated” from their Son-Rise Programs to attend typical or mainstream schools where they demonstrated age-level or above academic skills.


The common misconception of this technique is that by “joining” in repetitious and ritualistic behaviors the child will be encouraged to “ism” even more. Since 1984, we have been implementing this technique, a cornerstone strategy of The Son-Rise Program and our experience and results prove just the opposite. We have found that when children are “joined” in their repetitious behaviors, they actually become more engaged, more socially available, and more motivated to be with others. Rather than increasing their self-stimulating behaviors and rituals, they reach out more and connect more fully to the world around them. Although the “joining” aspect of our program has been the subject of much speculation and misconception, and has received criticism over the years, recent studies are now supporting the perspective and techniques that we have been applying for over 3 decades. Click below to see the 2 peer reviewed studies on the Son-Rise Program and additional supportive research:

Supporting Research & Studies


The techniques and strategies that we teach in relation to these types of behaviors are very effective. You can learn more about this specifically in Raun K. Kaufman’s book Autism Breakthrough, which has an entire chapter entitled, “Tantrums and Other Challenging Behaviors.”

If this is a daily and meaningful challenge, we would strongly recommend that you plan to attend our Son-Rise Program® In-Person Start-Up, so that you can interact with our teachers specifically and receive guidance directly related to this. (Only those who attend our in-person programs can schedule individual Consultations with our teachers, which many have found life-changing regarding issues of tantrums and aggressive behaviors).

The Son-Rise Program Options


You are talking about the prognosis which tends to be given when a child is diagnosed with Autism or other diagnosis. We believe that no one can say what your child can never do, or will never do. We believe that every child and individual is capable of growth, change and transformation. We know parents are given little guidance regarding what treatment to pursue, where to turn for support, and few ways to help their child significantly develop and grow. We have witnessed (and can certainly understand) the despair that results from this experience. That’s why we offer a different perspective. We do not put limits on the possibilities for your child. We inspire parents to hope for their children, to dream for their children, and to take meaningful action to help their children. Then, we offer the specific tools, techniques and methods that help your children learn, connect with people, and blossom. This means that parents have the opportunity not only to hope, but to make a substantial difference in the lives of their children.


At this time, we are not able to accept third party insurance, although we hope in the future, this will change. As a not for profit, charitable organization, we fundraise yearly in order to provide scholarships to those in financial need.Click the link below to learn more about applying for financial aid for our in-person programs.

Financial Aid

Here is a link you can use to apply for financial aid for The Son-Rise Program Online: The Son-Rise Program® Special Assistance Form. Please contact us directly at: 413-229-2100 to speak with a Program Advisor about Financial Aid for our Son-Rise Program® In-Person.

Contact Us


It is not necessary to have a specific diagnosis prior to using the program. If you, as a parent, believe that your child has developmental, social, physical or other issues that are of concern, we trust your assessment. We truly believe that a parent is their child’s best resource, and it is very common for parents to ‘know’ there is something different about their child long before any professional or any testing suggests this. We would recommend that you trust your instincts and get support and help as soon as you have a concern.


Yes, we do! Click below for information about two peer-reviewed research studies published in medical journals as well other empirical research supporting the efficacy and principles of The Son-Rise Program:

Supportive Research


Certainly! A number of interventions have been used successfully in conjunction with The Son-Rise Program, including dietary changes, biomedical interventions, physical therapy, etc. At the same time, other approaches have been found to undermine The Son-Rise Program’s effectiveness and often impede a child’s growth because of the contradictory or conflicting approaches. It is very important to research any other therapy being considered to determine if it will be complementary or potentially unsupportive. Click below for our current list of complimentary therapies and services –

Complementary Therapies


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Our Commitment to Privacy

The Autism Treatment Center of America® (a division of The Option Institute & Fellowship®) are committed to your privacy. This notice serves to help you better understand what information we collect, how we use that information, and with whom we may share a limited portion of that information. If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, you should contact Customer Support by email

We know that you value your personal information, and we strive to protect your privacy as if it were our own. The Autism Treatment Center of America (a division of The Option Institute & Fellowship) uses of your information is limited to the ways outlined in this notice, except as required by law and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on us.

Information We Collect From You

  1. Online Contact and Info Requests: If you submit an online request for Option Institute products such as free brochures, or submit a question through a “Contact Us” or “Call-Me” form, we may have to gather additional information from you to respond to your request. Such information will include name, shipping address, telephone number, and email address.
  2. Non-Personal Information We Receive Automatically: Like most websites, we utilize cookies. Cookies are a mechanism to remember information about you when you navigate from one web page to another. Our website uses cookies to hold a user’s unique session identifiers, allowing us to serve correct information back to the user. Such information may include your language and currency. Our website cookies do not hold any personally identifiable information. We may use other similar technologies that allow us to collect non-personally identifiable information about your visit to help us better your experience.

Lawful Basis For Processing Your Data

  1. Consent: We will not process any personal information unless you agree to our Privacy policy and freely give consent to process your information for the purpose of your request.
  2. Fulfillment of Requests: We only store and process your information for the purpose of your request. Your information is removed and no longer processed after the request has been fulfilled. If you have also freely consented to receive marketing or promotional communications via a request form or registration form, we will retain your information until you revoke your consent or unsubscribe from receiving those communications via the instructions located at the bottom of all our emails.

Sharing of Your Data

  1. If we are required by law: we will disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other legitimate governmental request.
  2. We will only share your data with third party service providers such as email services to facilitate fulfilment of your information or contact request. None of your information will be processed or stored by any third party if you choose to revoke your consent or submit a request to be forgotten.
  3. We do not share or distribute your information with any other third parties for any purposes other than the purposes you freely consent to.

Use Of Information Collected From You

  1. Information Requests and Customer Service: After submitting information to us via our online forms, your contact information including your email address will be used to respond to that request. After you submit online information requests to us, you may, from time to time, receive email or other communications from us or our service providers with information including information about our upcoming programs or products if you choose to agree to receive those communications. If you do not wish to receive these communications, you are able to opt out of at any time by following the unsubscribe link found in the email.
  2. Third-Party Service Providers: We work closely with other companies and individuals to facilitate transactions and better your experience. Examples of third-party service provider services include shipping orders, analyzing data, providing accurate search results and links, affiliate marketing, and newsletters. Any information that we share with a third-party service provider is done so safely, securely, and under a contractual relationship with that provider to protect your data.
  3. Promotional events: From time to time, we or a service provider acting on our behalf may use your name, email address, telephone number and/or mailing address to send you information or offers for a program, product or other service we believe to be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive these communications, you are able to opt out of at any time by following the unsubscribe link found in the email.

Data Retention Policy

We maintain a data retention policy to protect your data. Information collected on our website will be retained for as long as necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected.

How We Secure Your Information

We are committed to protecting the security of your personal information and to honoring your choices for its intended use. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we strive to maintain physical, electronic, and administrative safeguards. We use industry standard security protocol such as encryption and https security protocol to protect your information.
Any time we share your information with a third party consistent with this Privacy Policy, we utilize technological or contractual safeguards in an effort to keep your information safe.
While we are confident ordering online is safe and secure, if for any reason you cannot access the secure server or feel uncomfortable ordering online, please feel free to place your order with us by phone at 877-766-7473 or +001-413-229-2100.
At any time you wish to opt out of receiving promotional mailings, you may call or email Customer Service (

Your Rights

At any time, you can use the following request form to request any of the following:

  1. Confirm whether or not personal data about you is being processed.
  2. Provide you with further details about how we process your personal data.
  3. Provide you with a copy of any data which we hold about you.
  4. Withdraw your consent to using your personal information, where we rely on your consent as a legal basis to justify using your personal data.
  5. Consider any valid objection to the processing of your personal information (including the right to object to processing on grounds related to your particular situation where we are relying on our legitimate interests as a legal basis for processing).
  6. Request to update or delete personal data which we hold about you.
  7. Restrict the way that we process your personal data.
  8. Consider any valid request to transfer your personal data to a third party provider of services (data portability).

We will consider all requests. However, certain personal information may be exempt from those requests in certain circumstances, which include a need to keep processing information for our legitimate interests or to comply with a legal obligation. If such an exception applies, we will notify you when responding to your request. Please note that we may ask you to provide us with information necessary to confirm your identity before responding.

Policy Updates

We reserve the right to update the above policy at any time. If we decide to change our Privacy Policy, we will post the updates to this Privacy Policy here and on any other place we deem appropriate, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.