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“I have been passionate about working with special children and adults since I was 14, when I started volunteering with a local charity providing Art, Music, Drama and Dance therapy for adults with special needs. Having trained in Musical Theatre since I was 8, I loved being able to bring all my experience acting, singing, and dancing to be able to help people connect and communicate in new and meaningful ways.
While studying for my degree in Psychology, I began volunteering in my first Son-Rise Program with an amazing boy called Tom. This was a life-changing experience - I was profoundly touched by the respect and love of The Son-Rise Program and was amazed to see Tom's incredible progress. After I graduated, I spent another two years volunteering in nine different Son-Rise Programs, and in 2007 I was given the life-changing opportunity to live with a family for a year, helping them to run their Son-Rise Program.
In 2008, I moved to the USA to complete my professional Child Facilitator training and have been based back in the UK since 2010 where it is my delight to work with and support so many incredible families. I regularly return to the Autism Treatment Center of America® to continue developing my own skills, and to deepen my ability to hold a loving, non-judgmental attitude. I also participate in long-distance training to add to the services I provide for families around the world.
This work truly is my passion. To see children reach out and connect joyfully for the first time; to see families open up and find new, powerful ways to love and interact with each other; to be part of a child’s journey towards communication and friendship - I can’t think of a better way to be spending my life.”
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"I have been working at the Autism Treatment Center of America since 2004. I have been extremely fortunate to meet and work directly with well over 600 families and their children touched by Autism. I believe I have the best job in the world and I am incredibly passionate and grateful for working and helping special children and their families. Originally from Brazil and with a background in arts, I find I can be my most creative and fun self when playing with and helping our children on the spectrum and teaching parents how to be comfortable, creative and awesomely capable in supporting and helping their children to grow."
Camila is married and has 2 daughters and some of their favorite things to do as a family are: skiing, hiking, swimming in the ocean and on lakes, growing delicious vegetables and cooking together. They often have “Talent Shows” at their house on Friday nights.
“With a deep desire to make a difference in the lives of children with Autism, I packed my world into a suitcase and travelled to The Autism Treatment Center of America from the United Kingdom in 2004. I have never looked back. The Son-Rise Program has brought such meaning to my life, and practicing this amazing work, has allowed me to love, bigger than I ever had before. Inspiring hope in parents, and encouraging children to reach out and connect with their loved ones is such a great joy to me. I have worked with over 700 children and families, and I look forward to meeting you."
"In 1974, as a young mother, I sat on the floor in a small bathroom with my son, Raun, who had been diagnosed with Autism. In a decision born out of love and the passion to know my son, I had decided to join my son’s bizarre world of flapping and rocking to connect with him, instead of forcing him to conform to my world or putting him in an institution as we had been advised to do. That leap of faith combined with self-trust and respect for this child in my midst, we began an adventure, together with a team of volunteers we had trained, and worked tirelessly with Raun twelve hours per day, seven days per week, spanning three-and-a-half years. Raun emerged from a severe state of Autism with a tested score of under 30 I.Q., into a highly verbal, socially interactive youngster with a near-genius IQ who no longer exhibited any signs of Autism.
My desire to help others paved a road to the creation of the Autism Treatment Center of America, the home of The Son-Rise Program... and my husband, Bears, and I have devoted our lives to helping others know and manifest the infinite possibilities they possess. From beginning to end, this has been a journey of love, no matter how grand the challenges have been, how many people have tried to stop us, or how emphatically others have expressed their beliefs of the impossibility of the power to change we each possess. This is a continuous adventure we take within ourselves and, as long as my heart is beating, Bears and I will never stop helping others to achieve their dreams."
"Raun, our third child, developed autism during a time when autism was diagnosed as part of infantile childhood schizophrenia….and behavioral techniques, including reward/punishment and electric shocks were the commonplace treatments. Irreversible and incurable were terms used to describe his condition. Samahria and I decided that we would not want our son, or any child for that matter, to be exposed to such methods and, thus decided, to find a way ourselves to reach Raun. Never did we see his situation as a behavior problem but a difficulty in relating to and participating in the world of people.
We adopted some major perspectives; attitude was beyond important – to love him with judging his unusual behavior if he couldn’t join us in our world, we would join him in his and establishing a bonded relationship and helping him to be motivated would be the best pathway to help him one day join our world. Raun went from a severely autistic, mute, self-stimulating, under 30 I.Q. child to becoming a precious, highly verbal, extroverted youngster, ultimately graduating high school with honors and then gaining a degree in biomedical ethics from an Ivy League university. Today, he is Director of Global Education at the Autism Treatment Center of America (a division of The Option Institute), which Samahria and I founded almost 30 years ago.
Samahria and I, with a highly trained and professional staff, have had the blessing to have not only worked with individuals and parents and children from all over the world (124 different countries), but to share The Son-Rise Program (for children with autism and other developmental challenges) with tens of thousands of people through our many courses, seminars, family intensives, videos, books, CDs and DVDs and now through the Son-Rise Program Online. My first book, Son-Rise (now Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues), became a best-seller and an award-winning NBC-TV Network movie. Since then, I have written eleven other books (many translated into over 20 languages), including Happiness Is A Choice.
I don’t just get up every morning, I jump up. I feel extraordinarily grateful to spend each day either teaching in our programs, training our staff or professionals, working one-on-one with individuals and families, and dreaming up more effective ways to make our methods easier to learn and implement. When I look into the eyes of a mute child who learned to talk or even just allowed himself to be hugged, when I hear a mom report that her depression or despair is gone and now feels hopeful, when I see a dad open his heart to his family and address his concerns and fears and when I witness the transformative impact our Son-Rise Program teachers and child-facilitators have families every week and every month, I know that we (all of us working here at the Autism Treatment Center of America) are among those who most richly blessed. What an honor for all of us to do this work and embrace all those who reach out to us."
"I have had the privilege of connecting with so many parents during my lectures internationally and throughout the U.S., all of whom deeply love and want to help their children. In this work with families and professionals, I also bring my own very personal experience.
As a young boy, I was diagnosed as severely autistic, with no language and a tested I.Q. under 30. Although advised to institutionalize me, my parents, Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman, instead developed The Son-Rise Program and worked with me for over three years, enabling me to recover completely with no trace of my former condition. Our story was recounted by my father in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, and was later the subject of an award-winning NBC television movie Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love. I went on to graduate from the Ivy League’s Brown University with a degree in Biomedical Ethics, something that was never supposed to be in the cards for me. In fact, it still astounds me that everything has come full circle - that I can now help other children to step across the bridge I once crossed myself.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to reach out to people who are not yet aware of the principles of The Son-Rise Program through the articles I have written, as well as through my discussions of autism in radio, television, internet, print interviews and now in the online course.
As the future unfolds, I will continue to lecture and teach at universities, conferences, and, of course, in many of the Autism Treatment Center of America’s on-site programs. My cheers go out to all of the families working with such love and diligence to help their special children."
"I have spent my whole working life playing with children and helping families using The Son-Rise Program. My journey to the Autism Treatment Center of America began when I just 13 years old. When I watched the TV movie, Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love. This movie is the real-life story of The Founders of The Autism Treatment Center of America and how they recovered their severely autistic son from Autism. It was that movie that inspired me to want to work with children on the autism spectrum.
It is now more than 35 years later, and my passion for our children and the Son-Rise Program continues to grow. I have had the amazing honor to have worked with well over 1,500 children of different ages and diagnosis. I have had the privilege of helping families from all over the world, who continue to amaze me with their love and dedication for their beautiful children. I look forward to meeting you and helping you and your family thrive."
Kate has an identical twin sister. She is British and loves to dance argentine tango.