These are extraordinary times – that test our ability to stay grounded when the ground seems to have fallen out from beneath us, and that test our capacity to remain hopeful and optimistic when risk and danger surround us and those we love. Day by day, events change and the news becomes even more foreboding. Coronavirus! Pandemic! People are getting sick, and people are dying. Economic instability continues to escalate. Political and civil unrest has resulted in violence against government institutions. Social and racial inequality and injustice remains unresolved. Yet, at the very same time, these challenges give us new opportunities to create more inner strength, to engage our smarts and to open our hearts to be loving, helpful and kind in ways we may have not considered previously. What appears to be pulling us apart (social distancing and sheltering-at-home) can and (we believe) will bring us all closer together.
And more than any constituency on the planet, all of you who have chosen to hold hands with all of us at the Institute… all of you who have come to programs, grown yourself and changed in life-affirming ways and supported so many individuals, families and children… all of you, our dear and treasured friends and extended family… know you can create your light in the darkness, generate love where there is fear and ask how you can help, especially now. Make a difference – for your loved ones, for your extended families, for your neighbors… and for everyone in this global village we all share. Perhaps you can still find ways to savor the smell of your warm coffee in the morning, take in the sunshine for an extra minute or two, have deep conversations, hug your children, or read a book you have been wanting to read.
Are we dealing with and living through a “hard thing?” OMGosh – without a doubt! Can we get through this and arrive at the other end, more capable, more caring, kinder and more loving than ever? OMGosh – without a doubt!
Given the extreme circumstances above, the staff of the institute is doing all that we can do to take care of ourselves so that we can better take care of all of you. Although we reduced our staff (for their safety and health) and dramatically curtailed our operations, we have reconfigured and redesigned ourselves so that we are able to offer new E-Learning Training Course Live via Zoom.
WE ARE HERE and we will continue to help you to the best of our ability during these challenging times…today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
Be present, stay safe and keep your love alive.
Bears & Samahria Kaufman
Co-Founders and Co-Directors of
Option Institute®/The Son-Rise Program®/Autism Treatment Center of America®
"I came to the Autism Treatment Center of America in October of 2008 where I took the position as the Intensive Coordinator. Before coming to the Autism Treatment Center of America, I worked with special children for 13 years, and upon my arrival fell in-love with the Son-Rise Program®. The modality of “Bonding through acceptance” opened my eyes to a world of love and acceptance for my own son, who has ADHD, and inspired me to want to live a happier, more loving life. I soon set the intention of doing the Son-Rise Program® Child Facilitator Training so I could share my love with children on a much deeper level. I spent six months observing and learning the Son-Rise Program, and in April of 2009 was accepted into the Son-Rise Program® Child Facilitator Training Program and in July of 2010, I became a Son-Rise Program® Child Facilitator staff member and cherished my time in the playroom as a facilitator.
I continued my training at The Autism Treatment Center of America to become a Senior Son-Rise Program® Advisor. My love of Son-Rise Program® inspired me to talk with parents who are just beginning their journey and who are continuing journey with their children using the Son-Rise Program® principals and techniques.
Through the years, I found myself wanting to help our staff grow and the organization flourish, so I have now moved into a managerial role while still working as a Senior Program Advisor. I am currently the Director of Operations and Deputy CEO of the Autism Treatment Center of America and the Option Institute and look forward to working with our staff and with parents of children on the Autism Spectrum for many years to come."
Amanda has been married for 24 years and has two amazing children, a son age 22 and daughter who is 18. Some of her favorite hobbies are hiking, reading, finding tag sales, traveling and spending time with her family.
Jeannie Reid was searching for answers to the challenges she and her family were facing. Jeannie and her husband Stuart’s son, Carson, had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition on the Autism spectrum. For Carson that meant being completely involved in obsessive behaviors and only using minimal words to identify objects, as well as frequently and completely melting down.
Soon after, Jeannie found the book, “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues” and when she read it, she KNEW she had found what she was looking for. She began using some of the Son-Rise techniques described in the book on her own until she was able to come to The Autism Treatment Center of America for the Son-Rise Program Start-Up. As she put into practice what she learned there, Carson’s world was opening up. Today Carson is attending a Montessori school as a 'typical' student and functioning at or above typical grade level, being fully verbal and conversational, and very interested in learning about the world and interacting as much as possible with other people. He is even taking swim lessons at the local YMCA and doing great!
“It has been wonderful to get, and stay connected with other people and Son-Rise parents from all over the world. My son’s progress had already come very far, but now I truly believe we can go all the way!”
Stuart Reid then attended the Empower Yourself course and brought home a new sense of clarity, balance and personal power. He shared his new empowerment with Jeannie and she in turn gained in confidence, strength and enthusiasm. Their own relationship began to flourish anew, as well. Life-altering changes were happening for Jeannie and her family.
Jeannie journeyed again to Sheffield, this time for the Fearless course at The Option Institute to help her recognize and overcome her personal obstacles. Jeannie wanted to continue her amazing journey as she had found using the techniques she learned in The Son-Rise Program and in Fearless had absolutely changed the lives of everyone in her family.
But, because the Reids’ finances had been seriously stretched by then, their next steps were put on hold. Then an amazing event changed everything. Jeannie’s college roommate and lifelong friend decided to start a Son-Rise Program scholarship fund for people from the Cleveland area. Since then Jeannie has been able to move ahead with her courses, taking Radical Authenticity, Son-Rise Maximum Impact and Son-Rise Wide Awake ... and eventually she became a Certified Group Facilitator.
Jeannie Reid’s story is about wanting BIG and making it happen. She is about to embark on her renewed private practice as an art therapist, and plans to be a super advocate for The Son-Rise Program in her area. Her wonderful new life is a product of her persistence and belief, and of the wheels she helped set in motion for others when her friends learned of how she and her family had been impacted by The Son-Rise Program.
“I know I will be able to give back by helping others, and that will be the top of my personal mountain! Thank you to everyone who donates! You are making a big difference in the world!
Two years ago, Antonio's kindergarten teacher told us something was not quite right with our little boy. He was not socializing, he somersaulted all the time and hardly spoke at all. At the time I was working for a municipality close to Florence, Italy and basically I had nothing left after seeing to basic necessities.
In the meantime, I looked up Autism with Google and as I was also looking for happiness and personal growth, I was guided to The Option Institute, thence the Autism Treatment Center of America. I read up as much as I could and started trying to apply the “Happiness is a Choice” suggestions. I'm not quite good at it but it has helped me with attitude, and everything else that seemed trying is really different after all this.
When I decided to come for The Son-Rise Program Start-Up, I really had little or no money to pay for it. I spoke to my friends, old and new. My mother helped me, friends I thought couldn't [help] tried their very best and the scholarship did the rest.
What the scholarship did was give a HUGE boost to my fundraising. About six friends contributed the rest, at the travel agency a very kind lady who I may now call a friend helped me some more. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. Here I am, happy to have attended the Start-Up program and looking forward to learning more and praying to God for guidance.
So the gist of the matter is, I am a happy mum who hopes to implement a wonderful relationship with her child and is riding a not so easy moment with lots of hope in her heart and THANK YOU is not enough for what I feel. I still remember William's words, “If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.” Now I'm trying to do different, bit by bit, day by day. I feel the difference already.
About Antonio ... we are going on with the Italian program and I play with Antonio after school in a quiet room in the house. Knowing what the little guy is exposed to (he's always putting his fingers in his ears and he seems to have problems with too much light in his eyes), I find him very brave as he bears it tolerably. Drums a lot to digest it all.
When we went to the doctor, just weeks after starting the program at home, she told me that she found him more attentive. His attention span has increased. He is also tagging or pulling at one's arm when looking for attention. The child psychologist last Saturday reported the same thing and what's more, my son has always required that I enter the room, hence assisting in every session. Well, this time he went in along with the doctor and told me, “See you later.”
At school, his teacher who speaks English as well, read up and watched my DVD (Kyle’s Journey, Jade and “I want my little boy back”). Now she's changing, bit by bit and I do appreciate that very much. He seems to be OK with her and actually sent me away from class this morning, again telling me, “See you later.”
He is now ONE HUGE GREENLIGHT and I'm hoping to be able to really have volunteers (still looking), raise funds and settle down to business.
I am the mother of three children, all on the Autism Spectrum. Before I heard of the Son-Rise Program and the Option Institute, I was a desperate, angry and depressed person…. I was on Anti-depressants, sleeping multiple hours of the day, and for a period of time, using alcohol to run away from my pain.
Then I heard of the Son-Rise Program. I called to find out more about it and thought “this if for me!” But I could not afford it. You see raising one child with Autism is very expensive but raising three is just outrageously expensive with all the therapies and dietary interventions that we were doing.
But I was offered a full scholarship to the SRSU program. I have since attended all of the Son-Rise Programs and many of the Personal Growth programs offered by the Option Institute. Each time I have been given a scholarship and each time I go I learn more about who I am and I change for the better each and every time. Because of your most generous support, my children are recovering from Autism, I have found happiness in my life! I am no longer on anti-depressants and I have so much more energy.
YOU are the reason that my family is in recovery. It is because of YOU that my oldest son now is enjoying school. YOU are the reason my second son is speaking. YOU are the reason my daughter is no longer as rigid and controlling as she once was. Thank you does not even begin to cover how much gratitude I have for you. I thank God every day for you and I do not even know you.
Please know that you are changing lives with your donation to ATCA and the OI. It is because of you that every day people are getting the help that they need. Thank you, thank you and thank you!
With so much love,
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 email@example.com.
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
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.
Lawful Basis For Processing Your Data
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
If we are required by law: we will disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other legitimate governmental request.
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.
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
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.
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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
Confirm whether or not personal data about you is being processed.
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Provide you with a copy of any data which we hold about you.
Withdraw your consent to using your personal information, where we rely on your consent as a legal basis to justify using your personal data.
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).
Request to update or delete personal data which we hold about you.
Restrict the way that we process your personal data.
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.