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4.8 out of 5 stars17
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 August 1998
In a world where parents of special-needs children are constantly told they don't know what's best for their children and the "experts" favorite answer is to forcefully "modify" a child's behavior to appear normal, this book is a refreshing demonstration of the power of parental love and determination. When told by the recognized experts that their son, Raun, was hopelessly autistic and mentally retarded, uneducable and in need of institutionalization, the Kaufmans chose to look to their child as his own expert. Hours of open-minded observation, experimenting and lovingly joining Raun's actions, gave them a unique understanding of him and the key to reach into his strange world and ultimately inspire him to become a part of theirs. Raun's total recovery from a supposedly incurable disorder is a demonstration that the "experts" don't always know best and that scientific studies often fall short. This is a story about trusting yourself and a special-needs child, or anyone, to know what is best for themselves and using observation, respect and openness to find the best answers to meet any challenge. It's a story of really going for what you want, despite the established beliefs others insist on, and enjoying the process. I wish every parent, teacher, professional or person who has contact with children would read this book!
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on 7 July 2006
Because of the work of the Son - Rise Institute and my whole hearted delve into the ethos, which started with this book, my daughter (who I cried over), is developing and in mainstream schooling. She has an independent future. There can be no cynical response to that! The Son Rise phenomenon is dedicated to parents. Professionals working in schools will probably feel excluded from the excitement and they should be if they can't drum up any. My Son-Rise training in the UK was paid for through the Caudwell Charity, so essentially for me apart from petrol and meals, it was FREE and there was love in it all the way.
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on 21 February 2006
This book is a lovely journey through the life of an autistic boy who has recovered. It is a motivation to many parents around the world to trust their instincts, to learn how to love our special children, to deal with the not-so-friendly environment and be happy.
My daughter was diagnosed with autism spectrum at 3 and a half years. After various unsuccesful attempts at 'unlocking' her from this unknown world of being distant and silent, this book was the first to shed light into our lives. It changed me in a way that I have understood how and why our children cannot develop before we start changing. I have also attended training by the authors of the programme and after 6 weeks the number of words she knew at five years has risen from 12 to 52, her eye contact from 3-4 seconds to 15, attention span from 1-4 to 15-20 minutes, physical contact is now requested and warm and lasts longer than before.
Even if you do not have a special child, but have one in the distant family, among friends, relatives, colleagues, do read it, as it is a wonderful journey through a life of persistence, understanding, but most of all love and happiness.
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on 23 October 1998
I read this book when my child was 5 years old and in the public school system, in which he was receiving failing grades from his CST. This book renewed my hope and dreams for my child which was in total opposition to the 'professionals' opinions. This book changed our direction in life for our child. My child's grades are straight A's vs. straight F's. My child is happy and so are we!!! This is a must read for any parent dealing with a child with special needs.
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on 28 June 1998
I have very mixed feelings about this book. When Kaufman describes them in any detail, the developmental play techniques he uses with his son seem intelligent and useful, and the emphasis on responsiveness and attention to what motivates the child in question is good. It's also nice to read someone who is not continually worried about how to eliminate entirely harmless but "inappropriate" autistic behavior. Various other writers - Stanley Greenspan, Melanie Nind and Dave Hewett, etc. - have actually developed similar techniques, but have described them in much greater detail and scientifically documented their (more modest) claims, something Kaufman has consistently failed to do.
Too often, however, Kaufman seems to reject practical details in favour of claiming that the right attitude is all that matters, the right attitude apparently requiring "choosing" to feel happy about everything. Any parent of a child with autism who occasionally feels tired, frustrated, or momentarily unable to "choose" to be ecstatic will now have to feel inadequate as well. As a person with an autistic spectrum condition (Asperger's syndrome) myself, and as a volunteer with severely autistic children, I happen to think that autism and autistic people are beautiful and wonderful beyond measure, but I don't think that such enjoyment and delight should be made compulsory (a sure way to destroy them anyway) or that parents should have to feel that they are failing their child if they also feel the other, equally human and valid emotions of fatigue, worry, or grief...he seems to be selling acceptance on the basis that if you just accept something enough, then a "miracle" will occur and it will go away (which is an odd sort of acceptance). If a mirac! le doesn't occur, then presumably you had the wrong attitude... For many children, I'm sure that the practical techniques he describes are genuinely beneficial (Craig Schulze, in "When Snow Turns to Rain", describes how they were not for his son), but I have an innate distrust of anyone who sells (literally or figuratively) a fixed package of techniques as a "miracle cure" for all children and all problems. Some limits and differences are real; some children can't just "choose" to be normal; some disabilities don't go away, and true acceptance may mean learning to live and work with them.
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on 12 February 2011
This truly inspirational account gives hope to parents like me, and proves how unconditional love can be a powerful force. So much of this story is familiar: the pessimism and negativity of the 'experts', the awkward reaction of friends and family, the fight for help and support. Most of all, it made me look at our special son in a whole new light. Thank you.
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on 23 December 2008
As a mother of a 2 year old with Autism who has been recently diagnosed the SonRise programme has literally been a GOD send. I have started the programme for 2 months and my non verbal, retracted from the world son now has over 100 words, has improved understanding, and in his own words 'Joshua happy'. This book is a useful introduction to SonRise but not complete in itself. The SonRise is a gentle and child friendly approach and I have spoken to over 6 families in N Ireland who have seen dramatic results
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on 24 August 1998
I read every book I could find on alternative treatments and therapies [for autisim]. Nothing I read appealed to me. Then a family member gave me the book that would significantly alter our lives. Little did I know that when I read Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, that my life, the lives of every member of my family and many in our community would be forever changed. As a person who was brought up in a rather open-minded home, the Kaufman's precepts, teachings and beliefs at once made perfect sense. I knew when I finished the book that I would take my family to Option Institute to learn this process. I had hope once again.
The most important thing that Barry Neil Kaufman has taught our family is to reach for the stars, believing whole-heartedly that you will touch them, while totally accepting it if you do not attain your goals. What we used to look upon as tragedies now are always viewed as opportunities for growth and happiness. Thank you Bears Kaufman for your beautiful words of wisdom, hope and love.
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on 24 August 1998
This book totally changed my life. After our son was diagnosed with Autism, we were told he was severe and probably would never speak. I felt hopeless and confused about what the future would hold for him. The Kaufman's book totally changed my life and I realized that there was so much hope for him. Through the Son-Rise program, we were taught that attitude, excitement and love can all work together to bring about great changes in children with special needs. Now our son is an absolute joy to be with. He has good language skills, he laughs and jokes and hugs and best of all, he loves people. Everyday is a gift! If you want to be inspired, read the book.
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on 8 March 2016
Highly readable and gave me the confidence to work with an autistic child with no previous experience. This is not a "how to" guide, but I was able to draw principles from it which were really helpful and transformative. For example when teaching the student to speak, I followed a similar system to the father in the story. This worked extremely well and the whole book is a must read and very moving. I understand that some may find it gives false hope to those whose children will never be "cured" as this child was. However, despite this it encourages the attitude that no child should be treated as if they have no hope, and every child is capable of making strides when the carer really gets on to their level.
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