Course Curriculum

The Son-Rise Program Online Course Contains:

[9 Months of Course Materials – Go At Your Own Pace]

  • Lectures
  • Interactive “One Click” Participation Activities
  • Video Demonstrations
  • Worksheets
  • “Make It Happen” Guides with concepts to remember, things to do, practice guidance, and observation worksheets
  • (two) 8-Week After Courses Including:
    • Daily Activities
    • Sensory Spotlights
    • Attitudinal Support
  • Library Access with regularly expanded/updated content

NOTE: At specific relevant points, the course offers an option for “Highly Verbal” content that you may choose in order to access the curriculum that is most applicable to your child.

Part 1:

1.1 The Insiders Guide to Your Child

You will learn all about your child’s magnificent world, – and how to understand your child’s experience from the inside out. By learning to see your child’s Red Lights and Green Lights, you will be able to see what’s really happening with your child. And, you will gain a game-changing tool – The Son-Rise Program ABCs – that will enable you to determine which approach is most useful in any moment with your child.

Content – 26 Sections Covering:

  • Finally, really, understanding your child’s experience
  • The Son-Rise Program ABC Model
  • Red Lights: Recognizing the signs that your child is in their ‘own world’
  • Green Lights: Recognizing the signs that your child is ready to interact and be challenged
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

1.2 Interaction 101

This section teaches a very important topic at the heart of autism: Interaction. You will first learn how to be with your child’s repetitious behaviors (“stims”) by using the groundbreaking technique of “Joining”. You will also discover the four key strategies for lengthening your child’s Interactive Attention Span – the platform upon which all learning and growth is built, as well as what it means to work your child’s ‘weak muscle’ and increase their ability to connect and engage with others.

Content – 33 Sections Covering:

  • The technique of “Joining” as a gateway for bonding and interaction
  • Video demonstrations
  • The difference between Attention Span and Interactive Attention Span
  • What it means to work your child’s ‘weak muscle’ and why it is important
  • Autism as a social relational disorder
  • Why human interaction is more important than academic skills
  • The four ways to build your child’s Interactive Attention Span
  • “Make it Happen” guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

1.3 Communication 1:1

Here you are going to learn all about verbal communication. We will give you simple techniques that will allow you to help your child: grow their ability to verbally communicate, become motivated to use spontaneous, interactive language, and use speech as a vehicle for human connection. These will include: the “Name It” technique, “Conversation Starter Statements,” and how to avoid “The Secret Language Stopper”.

Content – 38 Sections Covering:

  • The importance of listening
  • How to respond to speech (and attempts at speech)
  • The power of pausing
  • The “Name It” technique
  • Why asking questions can be counterproductive
  • Generating child-initiated communications
  • The Communication Ladder
  • “Conversation Starter Statements”
  • “The Secret Language Stopper”
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

1.4 Motivation 101

In this section, you are going to learn about The Son-Rise Program® Motivation Principle. You will see why motivation is the single largest factor for your child’s growth. You’ll learn how to use your child’s motivations and interests to lengthen his/her Interactive Attention Span – the platform upon which all learning and growth is built. You’ll also learn the pitfalls of using the Reward System on your child – and how to unlock your child’s natural intelligence by using the Motivation Principle instead.

Content – 16 Sections Covering:

  • How to recognize the Motivation Mismatch – and fix it
  • The side effects of the Reward System and why we use the Motivation Principle instead
  • Uncovering your child’s Motivation, plus worksheet
  • Using your child’s Motivations: The Important Bias
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

1.5 Attitude: The Critical Element

In this segment you will learn how your emotions and attitudes profoundly affect your interactions with your child. You will see how the “Stimulus –> Belief –> Response” Model will help you deal with stress and discomforts. This model will help you to maintain a greater sense of optimism and well-being which will profoundly enhance your motivation level and your child’s responsiveness.

Content – 12 Sections Covering:

  • The components of The Son-Rise Program® Attitude and using the “Stimulus –> Belief –> Response” Model
  • Happiness-generating and unhappiness-generating beliefs
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

8-Week After Course Part 1:

  • Daily Activities
  • Sensory Spotlights
  • Attitudinal Support

Part 2:

2.1 Review

2.2 Eye Contact and Non-Verbal Communication

In this section you will be given a much deeper understanding of eye-contact and non-verbal communication, with a bias towards spontaneous, child-initiated skills. You will have tools to build your child’s overall non-verbal communication, a crucial yet often-overlooked component of interpersonal communication and social relationships.

Content – 11 Sections Covering:

  • An overview of The Son-Rise Program® Developmental Model
  • The importance of children looking because they want to, rather than because they are forced to
  • Encouraging spontaneous eye contact
  • Encouraging non-verbal communication (other than eye contact)
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

2.3 Flexibility 101

Here you will get a thorough education in the all-important topic of Flexibility. Helping your child in this area will have a profound impact on their lives, and yours. You will learn how to help your child become less attached to routines and particular stimuli/circumstances, and more willing to be at ease and flexible with changing circumstances.

Content – 12 Sections Covering:

  • What to do when you child is having difficulty being flexible
  • Creating a learning environment what will help your child become more flexible
  • The surprising way to encourage flexibility
  • Turn “No” into “Yes”
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

2.4 Setting Goals

In this section, you will learn how to use the groundbreaking Son-Rise Program® Developmental Model to plot and really understand where your child is socially. Then we will show you how to set optimum goals for your child in each of the Fundamentals of Socialization…and track your child’s progress!

Content – 5 Sections Covering:

  • Camera: See and understand where your child is now
  • Blueprint: Know which goals to focus on
  • Create: Your child’s Social Curriculum
  • Use: The Son-Rise Program Developmental Model

2.5 Getting Goals

This section is all about getting goals. Build on your understanding of Green Lights and use them to challenge your child to grow in all of The Son-Rise Program Four Fundamentals. We’ll show you exactly how to use the techniques of Indirect Challenging, Direct Challenging: Phase 1, and Direct Challenging: Phase 2, to enable your child to leap forward on The Son-Rise Program® Developmental Model.

Content – 15 Sections Covering:

  • The crucial prerequisites for getting any goal
  • Indirect challenging (to increase “Green Lights”)
  • Direct Challenging Phase 1 (to strengthen Interactive Attention Span)
  • Direct Challenging Phase 2 (to achieve specific developmental goals)
  • “Make it Happen” Guide (Concepts to Remember, Things to Do and Techniques to Practice)

2.6 How to Change a Belief: Attitudinal Support

Using the “Stimulus–>Belief–>Response” Model you will see how to change the way you feel and behave (especially with respect to your child), in order to be the most powerful force of change in your child’s life. Seeing the impact of self-acceptance, the role of evidence, the process of discarding one belief and adopting another, will help you break through your personal roadblocks and support you in your journey with your child.

Content – 14 Sections Covering:

  • Stimulus–>Belief–>Response
  • Believing in, and orienting, for change
  • Practice and Belief Change Activity
  • Keeping what you’ve learned alive

8-Week After Course Part 2:

  • Daily Activities
  • School Spotlights
  • Attitudinal Support

Meet the Teachers:

Kate C. Wilde

Director of
The Son-Rise Program®

Raun K. Kaufman

Director of Global Education

Barry (“Bears”) Neil Kaufman

Co-Founder and Co-Creator of
The Son-Rise Program®

Samahria Lyte Kaufman

Co-Founder and Co-Creator of
The Son-Rise Program®

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Samahria Lyte Kaufman


  • Co-Founder/Co-Creator of The Son-Rise Program (1974)
  • Has taught The Son-Rise Program to parents and professionals for over 40 years
  • Has presented The Son-Rise Program in Europe, North and South America
  • Co-Authored the screen play for Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love based on the best-selling book, Son-Rise, The Miracle Continues, written by her husband, “Bears”, Barry Neil Kaufman, about the inspiring and transformative journey she, along with Bears, created and shared with their once-autistic son, Raun.
  • Co-Founded The Option Institute International Learning and Training Center and the Autism Treatment Center of America in 1983

Personal Statement

"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."

Barry ("Bears") Neil Kaufman


  • Co-Founder of the Son-Rise Program and Autism Treatment Center of America (1983)
  • Has taught The Son-Rise Program to parents and professionals for over 40 years
  • Best-selling author of 12 books including Happiness Is A Choice, Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, and A Miracle to Believe In.
  • Noted international speaker, Group Facilitator and teacher

Personal Statement

"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."

Raun K. Kaufman


  • Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America®
  • Author of Autism Breakthrough
  • Degree in Biomedical Ethics, Brown University
  • Advisory Board Member, United States Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA)
  • Certified Son-Rise Program® Teacher and Teacher Trainer

Personal Statement

"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."

Kate C. Wilde


  • Director of The Son-Rise Program
  • Certified Son-Rise Program Teacher and Teacher Trainer
  • Author of Autistic Logistics

Personal Statement

"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."

Fun Facts

Kate has an identical twin sister. She is British and loves to dance argentine tango.