Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Raun Kaufman: Completely Recovered or Success Story?

I've come across some information which leads me to put Raun Kaufman on the spot. Apparently he was diagnosed at the age of 18 months. That was over 30 years ago. Isn't that rather early a diagnosis for the time? By the age of 5 he's said to have "emerged" from autism. We're in 2007 now; early diagnoses are quite common and have been studied. It turns out that it's not that unusual for children to lose age 2 diagnoses, and there's little data regarding what predicts this. Anywhere from 12% to 19% of children diagnosed at age 2 will be found to not meet ASD criteria some years later (Turner et al., 2006; Kleinman et al., 2007). Sorry Raun, but those are the facts.

But maybe he didn't lose his label at 5. He simply "emerged." Still, Raun Kaufman is unusual and generates interest because he's the only adult (that I know of) who inequivocally states he's completely recovered from autism. I've encountered adults who say they might be slightly off the spectrum now, but they tend to be ambiguous about it.

How does Raun Kaufman differ from any of Kanner's "success stories" as described in Kanner et al. (1972)? It can't be that they didn't graduate from college or didn't have jobs.

Does it matter whether we call it "complete recovery" or "success story"? I think it matters a little. Losing membership in a group is different to being a successful member of the group. For example, it will probably be quite unusual if a woman becomes president of the US. But I don't think Hilary Clinton will stop being a woman if she achieves this.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is important for science to study what might have helped Raun have a successful outcome. Some clues are already there.

Although advised to institutionalize Raun, his parents, authors/teachers Samahria and Barry Neil Kaufman, instead created an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an effort to reach their son.

I'm convinced this sort of recommendation Raun's parents got is a major cause of poor adult outcomes reported in the literature. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will. I'd like to see stronger warnings against early institutionalization. I believe this is more important than saying "give me money to recover your child."

I don't doubt the parallel play, joint attention, presuming competence, and acceptance (even fake acceptance) helped somewhat.

However, I don't like a lot of the discourse used by the Autism Treatment Centers of America. It's medicalized. It claims to give "hope" but instead misleads with erroneous information, such as suggesting that poor outcomes in autism are basically a given under normal circumstances.

37 comments:

  1. You missed one option of what happened to Raun Kaufman, "complete recovery", "success story", or “cured”.

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  2. He says he's completely recovered, with no trace of autism. I assume that's the same as cured, although you never know these days.

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  3. and acceptance (even fake acceptance) helped somewhat.

    How does acceptance lead to recovery from autism?

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  4. "That was over 30 years ago. Isn't that rather early a diagnosis for the time?"

    Misdiagnosis?

    Even now it is questionable if a child who is 18 months old can be diagnosed properly. There are other conditions that delay development, or even dampen developement for a while (an infection or a seizure disorder that resolved).

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  5. How does acceptance lead to recovery from autism?

    You might have noticed I did not make this claim. However, I understand that's one of the things that is part of Son-Rise: accept the child and his behaviors.

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  6. There are other conditions that delay development, or even dampen developement for a while (an infection or a seizure disorder that resolved).

    Well, Raun had many ear infections as an infant.

    The way they describe his behavior, he did appear to be autistic. Although it seems that some psychiatrists disagreed he was autistic. But then again, we're talking over 30 years ago. PDD-NOS, maybe?

    He was lucky he was not put in an institution though. Misdiagnosis or not, forget it.

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  7. Fortunately, the era of rampant institutionalization was pretty much over 30 years ago. It was after some news reports reported horrible conditions at those places, and about the time many closed. This also included the time when many schools for the deaf and blind closed (see _Train Go Sorry_ by Leah Hagen Cohen).

    Believe it or not, the original version of IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) is actually just over 30 years old. The program my son entered as a preschooler 16 years ago was actually already in existant for about 15 years (it was created when their hard of hearing program would get preschoolers enrolled who could NOT speak, but who could hear!). So there were other legal options.

    If he had had a history of ear infections, I am more inclined to believe that his behaviors may have been tied to pain and temporary deafness. I noticed changes in my son's behaviors when he was sick (though as he got older the signs were more difficult, more than one ear infection was found by the school audiologist!).

    My son also had a history of seizures, so we were looking for any signs. Before he was three years old he had had several EEGs... none that found anything amiss.

    Do they mention any other diagnostic tools like a sleep EEG?

    For the record, my son has never been formally diagnosed as autistic. He as a severe speech disorder. The child neurologist 16 years ago was quite clear in telling us that our son did NOT have any signs of autism.

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  8. Wow, Not having a recollection of when the transition occurred from 'childhood schizophrenia' to 'autism' in DSM throws a wrench into my ability to evaluate this claim in the present moment.

    All I can promise is that I will do some looking, and report back.

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  9. How on earth could a child of 18 months be diagnosed with Autism at a time when only classic Autism was being recognised? We're talking before 1977 for crying out loud. Sorry - I'm not buying it. There's clearly been a misdiagnosis here on the information presently existing. I'll be interested to see what Patrick comes up with.

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  10. I don't doubt Raun met ASD criteria. I understand his parents saw several psychiatrists, who must have been well informed ones.

    But I do think the Autism Treatment Centers of America are overstating the significance of the loss of label. They probably don't know this, but they are.

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  11. Joseph,

    I must be dense, but I don't really understand the real point here. Your speculation about his original diagnosis proves nothing at all. Maybe if you identified the doctors who evaluated him and their expertise at the time, you MIGHT be able to make a point about his early diagnosis. His website claims that the story is documented in a book. Did anyone read it and provide actual details?

    But you seem to be mincing words here. From the strictist definition of the word Autism (that it is incurable), that means any recovered autistic never was autistic.

    "Autism is a developmental disorder of the human brain that first shows signs during infancy or childhood and follows a steady course without remission or relapse."

    But his claim is that he was diagnosed at a young age with Autism Disorder (so at that point in time, he had the symptoms of an Autistic Person), and apparently now no longer has any symptoms of Autistic Disorder. If he doesn't have any symptoms, then he really isn't Autistic anymore and technically was never Autistic.

    What he can try to "claim" is that if your child is diagnosed with Autistic Disorder at a young age (i.e. they have the behavioural patterns of an Autistic Person), that his parents' methodology can be used to transform certain children into a state where they no longer fit the criteria of having the pattern of behaviours that result in Autistic disorder.

    Without more facts here, the rest is conjecture and pretty pointless discussion -- either that or people just want to bash him for his marketing techniques.

    Hey, if you disagree with his marketing or motives, that's one thing. But if you want to dispute his personal story, you better provide some hard facts to back it up. Doubts are purely subjective opinion.

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  12. Patrick, let's add location to the mix.

    In many municipalities the medical professional who would make a diagnosis (speech/language pathologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists) usually know each other and share information. Sometimes they are associated with a nearby research/educational institution.

    In my area this is a good speech/language pathology program at the university, which has close ties with the rehabilitation clinic at the local Children's Hospital. My son was diagnosed with oral motor dyspraxia what is now the Rehabilitation Clinic at Children's Hospital (it includes speech/language pathologists along with occupational and physical therapists).

    The school district actually had a program called the "Dyspraxia Program" that then went to the 3rd grade (it now goes through high school, and the preschool program has been renamed). It was developed from the Hard of Hearing Program (which actually joined with the Deaf program just a few years before my son entered preschool).

    A local child neurologist was well known to the Children's Hospital program and the preschool program. He was also key in getting legislation passed to get insurance companies to pay for neurodevelopmental therapies for children through the age of 6.

    Now I present this information as a background to the following revelation:
    A mom I talked to whose child entered the preschool program my son had been in had moved from Southern California. The well-renowned child neurologist her son saw at UCLA refused to believe that either dyspraxia and apraxia even existed.

    (by the way, her child's motor skills were affected so much that he could not use sign language... he had some major gross motor skill issues, but he was still not autistic and did progress with good OT/PT and speech therapy)

    So in the parlance of my dad's second profession (real estate agent): Location, location, location!

    Would you think that the "group-think" of the professionals where the Kaufman family lived may have been a factor?

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  13. Good read here. I see your point. I do have some doubt about his story, like you said dx at 18 mos, 30 some years ago, is rather unique to say the least. Perhaps he was never autistic at all, but rather had something else?

    I do wish people like this Raun, if in fact he was ever truly autistic, would simply say he's autistic still, and wow, look at all he's doing. Instead, they make it as if he's sloughed off his autistic exterior and suddenly is someone capable of all these things, these successes, because he is RID of his autism. Why can't he simply be someone who is autistic, had a loving family life (or whatever), & happened to achieve these various successes?

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  14. My guess is that he might have been PDD,nos at the time and that he'd still fit PDD,nos. He doesn't seem to have much of a life apart from working for his parents. An Asperger's or PDD,nos person can pull of an act when it's based on a script. Raun says the same things, over and over and over. His thing is to drum up business for the family business by telling his story. His story hasn't changed, presumably, in the last 2,000 tellings of it.

    If he was married to a neurotypical woman (tough to pull of for an autistic man, though not impossible, obviously) and had a couple of kids and a job working for people other than his parents. If he could do normal chit chat, and had normal senses and ability to deal with change, noise, crowds... ate a normal diet, didn't need to take anxiolytics... etc, if I knew all that was true about him, I'd have a hard time believing that he's still autistic.

    From the bit I know of him now, and from what I've seen of him on video, the guy looks like an ASD person with a patter and a schtick that he has overlearned so the words just roll out of his mouth.

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  15. I think Ms.Clark has got it.

    We are talking Spectrum disorder here. But there was no such thing in the 1970's - there was only classic Autism. And I think it can be argued that because he is no longer classic Autistic is the reason why he is claiming to have "recovered".

    Which I for one say "Uh Uh!" You're still on the Spectrum, mate! And you will be for life!

    (I'm talking to Raun of course!)

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  16. Well 1980 was the official change, so 1974-1975 wouldn't be too much of a stretch. These conditions are known about several years before they are codified.

    The ATC site lends a description of symptomology and approximation of year.

    His Doctor(s) would have had to have been pretty cutting edge.

    Lucky guy.

    By the way, the Unstrange minds site is where I ended up after searching for "childhood schizophrenia" autism. It has a nice page with the DSM changes.

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  17. I must be dense, but I don't really understand the real point here. Your speculation about his original diagnosis proves nothing at all.

    Swartz - The point is that the loss of label, portrayed as miraculous (as in "the miracle continues") is not miraculous at all. It's like saying that if someone gets a Ph.D. that's miraculous. It's rare, not a miracle.

    People can speculate about the diagnosis, and there are lots of reasons why a child might meet ASD criteria (which again, I don't doubt he did), but yes, this is all just speculation and is beside the point.

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  18. BTW, none of Kanner's 96 patients got married as I recall. They would say that women are too expensive and things like that. Some dated.

    That's one thing that leads me to believe I'd be an unusual Kanner autistic, which I don't claim to be of course. (Same goes for Ms. Clark, right? :)

    Times are different now, though, and circumstances for spectrumites as far as dating and marriage options have changed since the 1960s.

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  19. passionlessDrone10/17/2007 9:28 AM

    Hi Joseph -

    "I don't doubt the parallel play, joint attention, presuming competence, and acceptance (even fake acceptance) helped somewhat."

    Shouldn't you doubt it though? What is our evidence that these things can help a child lose their diagnosis?

    Do we have any replicated, randomized, double blind studies showing that pretend play, presuming competence, or acceptance helps children with autism lose their label more efficiently than not getting any of those things?

    How are we to have any confidence that this isn't simply 'placebo by proxy', or the natural cycle of his disorder and he would have improved without any of these things?

    It is the unsaid, possibly unrecognized, double standard of so many who refuse to believe biomedical treatments can help people with autism. So many responses to my postings can be summarized this way:

    'There are no blinded studies providing the efficacy of the treatment you provide. We helped our child, but not by biomedical quackery, but with hard work, and acceptance.'

    For whatever reason, the posters never seem to realize that hard work and acceptance, while well intentioned, lack the same placebo controlled studies they demand for other treatments.

    For the record, I believe such things as pretend play, acceptance, and presumed competence in a child can and do help them, but my belief is based on common sense; a logical leap which, apparently, is only valid for the 'right' ways of helping people with autism.

    Go figure.

    Take care!

    - pD

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  21. Shouldn't you doubt it though? What is our evidence that these things can help a child lose their diagnosis?

    I'm not sure if they help someone lose their label. But I don't doubt they are beneficial to children's development in general. We're talking plausibility.

    I don't doubt them, the same way I don't doubt good nutrition is important to development.

    And there's some evidence that, for example, parallel play is part of development and that presuming competence impacts outcome.

    I'm not that familiar with evidence of what acceptance does, but it just makes sense that acceptance is important, and later, self-acceptance. I should study this further and report.

    That said, Son-Rise is data-free AFAIK, and obviously I don't think it's right to promote a "recovery" program that is not specifically proven.

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  22. (Sorry, re-posted to fix typo.)

    From Kanner and Eisenberg (1956/1973), Robert F, age 23, "served two years in the Navy as a meteorologist, is married, has a healthy son, and is now studying musical composition. Some of his works have been performed by chamber orchestras."

    At age 8, Robert F was described by Kanner and Eisenberg as "exhibiting unquestionably the characteristic signs of autism."

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  23. Thanks Michelle. I missed that one.

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  24. I suppose the difficulty with diagnosing at 18 months is that toddlers do such a lot of things that might fit on the spectrum, so when a child is on the spectrum it can be difficult to know where on the spectrum they are. I do think it would be very diifficult to predict an 18 month old's outcome. You can say how they appear at that time but I don't think you can know how they'll be even in a few years. At 18 months my older son appeared to have almost no verbal understanding, didn't ask for anything in any way, showed very little emotion with most things and appeared to ignore us a lot of the time. He is now four years and three months and today we went to an open afternoon at his nursery. Despite appearing to be ignoring everyone and doing his own thing, on the way back he was very eager to call out "Amanda round and round" which referred to a teaching assistant turning a toy hamster wheel round for him, "Netty bye bye, Netty bye bye, Netty bye bye" which referred to another staff member seeing him and "PIg in the Pond - SPLASH" referring to a story they'd had in the morning. He takes everything in and whilst he struggles to understand or know what people are saying unless there's a lot of visual prompts he does remember lots. He jumps and laughs with excitement when something funny happens. He informs us when he's eating his dinner that "singing time is finished" which means he's come home from nursery. Whilst the difference between him and a typically developing four year old is very noticeable, he is bright, happy, full of mischief and whilst still retaining his wish to do things on his own and on his own terms a lot of the time is not the same as at 18 months. I wouldn't have expected him to be.
    This is Bullet.

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  25. Hi Joseph, Sigrun here. I would have to say that Raun sounds like probable PDD-NOS. I'm sure he still has autistic spectrum "quirks" but as an adult he has learned to navigate society, which many autistics can do to a certain extent, usually out of the need for survival. It doesn't mean we ever completely "get it" or find it fun or easy, but, for example, I've tried to read up on the rules of the game, so to speak, especially with interactions with others. I still find NT society to be very alien and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a difficult time of it sometimes, but I think it's erroneous for Raun to say he's not autistic if he has in fact adapted and can "pass". My partner can "pass" as well and has to for a matter of survival at his jobs, but living with him I can tell he is clearly on the spectrum.

    One of course has the right to call themselves whatever they like, but here's the thing: there are days when I'm more high-functioning, and days when I'm more low-functioning. It's apparent within the first 10 minutes of meeting me that something is going on because I have very obvious stims and so on, but I've found a way to adapt (in some ways) via obtaining specialized employment and I think living a "normal" life doesn't mean one is not on the spectrum. There seems to be a belief among parents of autistic children that autistic adults don't exist outside of institutions. I myself have been institutionalized (and given mass amounts of neuroleptic drugs that I didn't want and didn't help at all, so to say I'm "in with Big Pharma" is pretty ridiculous I think), spending 9 months in one facility and 1 year 4 months in another. I also lived in a group home for a year. I'm obviously happier living more independently, as I have WAY more personal autonomy. And I think it is possible for people on the spectrum to have a fulfilling life, but it takes some work and understanding. One of the reasons why I'm against most biomed (I take vitamins and stuff, but come on now) is besides the risk of physical danger to the child, the hope that the child can be "cured" is not preparing them for impending adulthood with spectrum traits. I do find some behavioral therapies for autistic kids to be suspect, but I'm glad now that some parents where I'm at want their kids to be mentored by adults on the spectrum because they realize their kids are going to need skills to manage life.

    Anyway I'm rambling, but it does look like Raun had a supportive family and life skills training, which is an important factor in having a good quality of life. Even so, I would not say he's not autistic anymore. I'm sure he still has traits of at least PDD-NOS which is enough to be, um, "weird" (and I mean that in the nicest possible way, being a proud weirdo myself).

    By the way, I received some *ahem* threats *ahem* recently, so I'm trying to keep a low Internet profile right now, let things blow over.

    Thanks again :)

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  26. HCN,
    Sorry, I wasn't really too concerned about location, but Yes I do think that location could play a role, but I also think that the parents financial situation could be an effective override for locality concerns.

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  27. Sigrun - thanks for dropping by, and keep yourself safe.

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  28. Joseph,

    I missed the "miraculous" part. It's definitely fair to debate that one. But then, miracles are all a matter of perspective I suppose.

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  29. I am perplexed by these comments...I have met Raun, we have been running a Son Rise program for 2 1/2 years for our daughter...she is in mainstream kindergarten. We were told that she would never talk, special ed would be the norm and group home when she was an adult was a real possibility. She was 22 months when she was diagnosed. She had an ATEC score of 67 when first diagnosed, had food sensory issues, smearing issues, etc etc...She now speaks in sentences, has spontaneous language, is indistinguishable from her other classmates, has friends, lost her food sensory issues with Son Rise techniques i.e. had a picnic with her stuffed animals, got her to try her food and it worked...no kidding! She has pretend play skills, takes turns appropriately, can play board games and her school said that her academics are solid...she does receive OT and Speech therapy to smooth some rough edges but so do about 30% of the US public school students. So my point in all of this is that thank God Raun had autism or whatever you want to believe he did or didn't have because his parents created this program...it saved him and it saved our daughter. Her ATEC score is 8 now and her CARS score is 22 (off the spectrum). I have two different diagnosis from a major university and another highly reputable Autism specialist to prove that yes she has/had autism and have plenty of video footage that proves her autism now our latest video shows her making strawberry muffins with me and reading the recipe, greasing the pan and speaking well with great eye contact. Why is everyone so hung up on the fact that some kids...thankfully ours can recover from autism? Why all the criticism? Nobody criticizes if a kid recovers who did it through ABA? I will never understand this...

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  30. Anon: Who told you your daughter would never talk? About 88% of children with autism or PDD-NOS diagnosed at age 2 have some functional speech by age 9. Not only that, anywhere from 10% to 19% of autistic children diagnosed with autism at age 2 will lose their label altogether.

    I'm not sure where these popular notions that autistic children never make any progress come from, but they are simply the result of ignorance of published science.

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  31. re: the question of who told us that our daughter would never talk...i.e. a major University in the Northeast that has a basketball team that has won a few national championships and her pediatrician is who told us that she would likely never speak.

    My point being that many, many parents who aren't quite as "irreverant" and have a personality of "you tell me it can't be done...well, I will show you it can't be done" believe the well-intentioned but incredibly damaging professionals. Given that I have that "i will show you how wrong you are personality" helps/helped my daughter. Am not saying that Son Rise works for everyone...it has for us...just like ABA doesn't cure every kid...doesn't even cure most kids...just pushing back re: the commentary re: Raun Kaufman...this program saved our daughter and our family dynamic.

    Re: the question of how does acceptance lead to recovery...my attitude prior to SonRise was one of anger...believe me you could feel it in the home...once I got a hold of these beliefs...the family tension changed and progress improved...ever been in a home with an alcoholic or severe depression...on the surface everything looks fine but you know by being in the home that something is amiss...you can feel the tension and you can't wait to get out? Same thing with this theory...if you are angry, in denial re: autism...breeds this in the home and affects the flow of the house/home and the progress of the family unit. May seem off the wall to many...same issue with believing in God...why do you believe? Can't see HIM but you know HE is there...it's your belief system that either nourishes or destroys your environment

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  32. Coming in very late on this, but had to add a comment or two.

    Having read SonRise when it came out, I can still remember things that disturbed me enormously about that book. Firstly, it was written in the worst of groovy-cool, New Agey jargon by Barry Kaufman, and came off more as an attempt to push his personal life philosophy of the Option method than as a story about his child's "recovery"

    Secondly, from memory, Barry Kaufman claimed to have come to the conclusion that Raun had autism and then broached the subject to the doctors that the child was taken to. They rapidly got on the bus, as was common in the 1970's when doctors were confronted with a situation they didn't have an answer or diagnosis for. If the parent said "autism" and wasn't foaming at the mouth and sobbing over it, they were more than glad to agree. It got a difficult case out of their offices and absolved them of further need to get results in the form of a recovery, because autism was known to be "hopeless" at the time.

    Third, one thing that was most offensive about Barry Kaufman's book was his repeated intimation that somehow autistic people "choose" to be autistic, and can actively make a choice not to be so. This is where he drags in the Option stuff. It is possible that in later editions of the book and in what he's written since that he's soft pedaled this aspect of his theories, but in the first edition of SonRise, it rang out loud and clear, down to a dramatic moment when Raun "chose" not to be autistic.

    Spare us, Barry Kaufman, willya?

    I worked with children at the time that book came out. Back then there were few diagnoses offered for children who had neurological problems. There was "mentally retarded", "schizophrenia" and "autism", and that was about it. Children with hearing loss and the concomitant behaviours were diagnosed as retarded or autistic. Children with autism were diagnosed as retarded. If you had a child with multiple disabilities, God help you.

    So many parents of children I worked with read Kaufman's hippy-dippy drivel about his "little man" "choosing" to be normal and became convinced that their children could do the same thing. They suddenly wanted those of us who worked with their children to force them into being hugged and rocked. They were sure that if they just interacted with the child 24/7 that a "miracle" would occur. As time went on and they found that their children couldn't simply "choose" to be what they considered okay, they became disillusioned with SonRise and the entire thing. They began the weary search again, to find something that might help their child. In the mid-1970's, that was precious little. It was heartbreaking to see people being given false hope by that book. The very idea that somehow an autistic child, or any child with a neurological disorder, can be given the option to be a regular little fella and can choose to be so, is nauseating.

    One thing I noticed about the book was that Barry and Suzi Kaufman rapidly hired people to subject Raun to the continual stimulation that was part of their program. They weren't doing it all, but so many of the parents I dealt with didn't have their financial resources, and did try to do it all. It caused considerable damage to many families I knew, where suddenly the parents were subjecting a child to continual babble, hugging, stimulation and interference, while the other children in those families were neglected and the target child was driven to exhaustion, frustration and rage.

    It makes me wonder if Raun didn't actually decide to simply so what these people wanted so that he wouldn't be continually hassled any longer. If someone were constantly hugging, yakking, flapping toys at me and trying to get me to interact in a way they considered "acceptable", I'd start doing circus tricks too, just to make them stop.

    When Raun Kaufman works for someone other than mommy and daddy and lives on his own, maybe then I'll consider him "cured". I think it's a terrible thing to try to sell a "cure" for autism. Autism is, just as any other neurological state is. The need for people with autism is to have the support they need to be able to live in a non-autistic world. Trying to make people what they aren't and cannot be, to make those around them more comfortable, to propose that there is some miracle cure if you just work hard enough, is a situation bound to end in heartbreak for most families of people with autism.

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  33. There are so many people who have made comments concerning Raun's story who don't know any of the details. If you read SonRise, you know that Raun had the symptoms of Classic Autism. He wasn't just delayed. There was no eye contact. He seemed to hear nothing anyone said to him. He spun objects for hours. He was tested in any number of ways and his diagnosis was real, as real as any diagnosis today. He was diagnosed early because he happened to have some extremely observant parents who had two older children. Raun was NOT DEAF. His hearing test indicated no response, but quite a while later he was able to replicate the tones he had heard. He could hear, he just didn't react.

    There is also no suggestion that the child "is choosing to be autistic", just that he is choosing to use behaviors that help him. If given other non-threatening options, he MIGHT be able to choose something else. A strong enough series of those choices can help lead a child out of autism.

    And to suggest that because someone who is "cured" of an illness never had the illness in the first place because someone with "medical authority" said it's incurable is circular reasoning and absolutely bogus. People with "medical authority" who were "experts" told the Kaufmans that Raun would never function in any meaningful way

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  34. Let me explain the idea of hope and acceptance to you. By loving the child and accepting them, the parent is in a better place emotionaly to deal with the therapy. Therefore acceptance leads to hope, which in turn leads to positive action. The actions taken in sonrise are very similar to DIR-Floortime--Dr. S. Greenspan. Building the relationship with the child will help the child improve. Will every child pull out of thier Autism completely? Probably not, but it cannot hurt at all. They will improve especially if started at an early age (2YRS). As far as the cost, all autism therapies are expensive, and I don't think that this is any more expensive. One can gllen alot knowledge from what the Kaufmans have to teach. Bashing them is just stuipid!!

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  35. I also know Raun personally. He is a spontaneous, quick witted, thoughtful and sociable man. He is a pleasure to be around. I am more than happy to count him as my friend as an equal in the relationship.
    I wonder whether there are people in this thread who actually don't want to believe that autism is curable. Why? I can't begin to guess.
    There is video footage of Raun when he was young, and anybody who knows anything about autism can see from the video's that he was autistic - but he definately is not now.
    If Raun was the only person to have recovered from autism using the Son Rise program then I could understand some of the skepticism, but there are now hundreds if not thousands of children who have recovered using the Son Rise program. Look on the Autism treatment center channel on You tube for the story of Simon if you would like to see another one.
    If know several children myself who have recovered - so it is possible not just once, but many times.

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  37. Well, I goofed that up. Let me try again. I am a recovered Autistic woman at 56. Like Raun, I, too, was diagnosed Infantile Autism - Childhood Schizophrenia at 18 months. My mom was told twice to institutionalize me. She didn't. Thank God. I went to play therapy. I attended the Tidewater Preschool for Retarded Children. At 5, I was in Kindergarten. Recovered? Mostly, though still very shy, probably gluten sensitive, gut problems, dental problems, speech and social problems. My current psychologist diagnosed me as mild Asperger now. I have a MA Education and teach ID and Autistic kids. It is all a huge puzzle. Each piece has merit: vaccines, diet, environment, genetics, etc. I still do not believe a newborn needs to be shot up when it pops out of the womb. It is just ridiculous. Andrew Wakefield has done some great studies. The journalist was apparently the fraudulent one. So, look at Raun.....his parents did basically a whole lot of floortime with him. And most important, they didn't give up trying to help him.

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