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Samahria Lyte Kaufman Co-Founder & Co-Director: The Option Institute & Autism Treatment Center of America Home of The Son-Rise Program

Name: Samahria Lyte Kaufman

Title: Co-Founder of The Option Institute

Region: Full-time Staff, Available Worldwide

Phone: 1-413-229-2100



Areas of Expertise & Services:

A Personal Statement from Samahria Lyte Kaufman

“I have clawed my way out of my own pain... and climbed mountains where, once reaching a knoll that afforded me a view of another possibility, offered me the opportunity to recreate myself. Changing my beliefs through The Option Process and utilizing newly-decided, comfort-producing beliefs has been the gift of a lifetime. Through the desire to reframe perspectives and learn to love myself exactly as I am allowed me to then see my once-autistic son as truly lovely as he was ... and reach out to him without expectations or judgments... which led me to go for everything - and let go of any prescribed outcome. That freedom in myself opened doorways to expand in ways I never dreamed possible... and embrace my son, my other children, my husband and my life with acceptance and love. My desire to help others (adults with challenges in health, love, relationships, parenting, and even the loss of loved ones... as well as children with autism) paved a road to the creation of The Option Institute and 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.

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 intuition, 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 other non-traditional and original techniques began a journey in which we, together with a team of volunteers we had trained, 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.”

Quotes from Son-Rise Program Parents

“If there were a Nobel Prize for love, I’d want the Kaufmans to be the first to receive one.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Author, Your Sacred Self

“Love that comprehends and respects an inner sanctum of being without violating its uniqueness has always produced miracles-human miracles. Samahria Lyte Kaufman’s work reminds us once again of our under-used power to celebrate and ennoble life.”

Norman Cousins, Author, Anatomy of an Illness

“Samahria Lyte Kaufman’s work is love in action.”

John S. Weltner, M.D. , Child Psychiatrist, Co-President, Society for Family Therapy and Research

“Samahria Lyte Kaufman’s life demonstrates that the impossible can be made possible with hope, devotion and perseverance. She believes in the perfectibility of the human spirit, the human family, and the human child. She faces the darkness with the knowledge that miracles happen every day. Listen to her.”

Mothering Magazine

“Vivacious, charismatic, lovable. I had a great time in a safe environment, which she creates with her teaching style. Samahria is the Mother Theresa of autism”

Paul Kelly, National Operations, Australia
Child’s Name: Lachlan / Age: 6 / Diagnosis: Autism

“Samahria Lyte Kaufman is an extraordinary woman. Not only did she conceive, design, and implement a program to recover her own child and grandchild from the grips of autism, she has helped over 25,000 families to recover their children, one of whom is my five-year-old son Ethan. Ethan was diagnosed in December 2008 with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I contacted the Autism Treatment Center of America and attended The Son-Rise Program Start-Up the same week as Ethan’s diagnosis. Within 6 months, I had recovered my son, with Samahria’s help. At the same time, I was facing life-threatening health challenges of my own. Samahria’s guidance helped me and my son to grow and stretch in directions we could never have imagined back when we were both diagnosed. I will be forever grateful to Samahria for giving me back my life and that of my precious, loving, adorable, and now happy red-headed, blue-eyed, freckle-faced little boy who kisses me spontaneously and asks me “Mommy, are you filling up with love?” Indeed I am. ”

Lenore Goldfarb, Ethan’s Mom, Montreal, Canada President and Executive Director: Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation
Child: Ethan / Age: 7 / Diagnosis: PDD and Autism

“Samahria Kaufman is a perceptive, wise, patient and inspiring woman, a bright light whose presence is tremendously healing and comforting to every person she touches. Her passionate love for her autistic son, moved her to create and tirelessly continue the innovative process that has healed so many children and their parents for decades. By modeling acceptance, she taught me how to love myself and others.”

Jane Wyker, Family Counselor, New York

“She is the absolute authority on the Son-Rise Program. No one else knows better what it is to be in the playroom, for hours, trying to chisel out a beautiful and neuro-typical human being out of a child with the wonderful and beautiful gift of autism.”

Abhijit Patwardman, Software Engineer, California
Child’s Name: Aditya / Age: 6 / Diagnosis: Autism

“What a firecracker! Samahria’s love and spicy personality were very inspiring. Her authenticity and brilliant guidance were wonderful!! She has an amazing ability to really connect with our children and answer our questions without having met them.”

Amy Orth, Student, New Jersey
Child’s Name: Adrian / Age: 9 / Diagnosis: PDD/NOS

“Samahria inspires me to believe that I can change all the beliefs that I have held onto about myself. Her love and beauty radiates from her. Her Q & A session with us was amazing! Her willingness to share her experiences to help us be better parents is truly appreciated. I also had a consultation with Samahria. The time I spent with her was the beginning of the change I experienced. She made me feel brave and she made me feel loved. She inspires me to want to love myself.”

Heather Jackson, Full Time Son-Rise Mom, Tennessee
Child’s Name: Cooper / Age: 2 ½ / Diagnosis: Global Developmental Delay

“Lovely, lovely, lovely. A true mother and teacher all in one. She helped me to find the new me within myself, to start a new life at 29 years old and a new way for married life even after 6 years of marriage!”

Katie Pallister, Son-Rise Mom, Canada
Child’s Name: Stirling McKenzie / Age: 3 ¾ / Diagnosis: Autism

“She exudes love and genuine interest in people. She has faith in all of us and cheers us on to be the best we can be for our children.”

Ruth Quayson, Banking, Ghana
Child’s Name: Joshua / Age: 8 / Diagnosis: Autism