Autism Treatment Center of America®

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The Son-Rise Program versus ABA

The Son-Rise Program and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of autism treatment methodologies. The major differences are briefly outlined here. To read a much more detailed and comprehensive explanation of the differences, click here.

ABA vs. The Son-Rise Program

Understanding of Autism


The Son-Rise Program

Sees Autism as a behavioral disorder, with behaviors to be either extinguished or reinforced. The Child needs structure and must learn to sit appropriately, follow a schedule, and comply with requests.

Sees Autism as a social interactivity disorder, where the central deficit is relating to other people. Helping the child to be flexible and spontaneous enables him/her to handle change and enjoy human interaction.

Area of Focus


The Son-Rise Program

Changing the behavior of the child. Seeks to "extinguish" the child’s repetitive "stimming" behavior.

Creating a relationship with the child. Uses "joining" technique to participate in the child’s repetitive behavior.

Method of Teaching New Skills


The Son-Rise Program

Repetition - Uses discrete trials or similar method to prompt the child to perform a behavior (followed by a reward) over and over again until the child has demonstrated mastery.

Motivation - builds the child’ own interests into every game or activity so that the child is excited, "comes back for more," generalizes skills, and relates naturally rather than robotically.

Areas of Learning


The Son-Rise Program

Often focuses on academic skills. Sees academic areas such as math as an excellent way to help the child compensate for lack of social skills.

Always teaches socialization first. Seeks not to help the child compensate for social skills deficits but rather to overcome them.

The Role of the Parents


The Son-Rise Program

Professionals are the major players, with parents having a more observational role.

Parents are given the most central role, because their love, dedication, and experience with their child is unmatched.

The Role of the Facilitator’s Attitude


The Son-Rise Program

Sees attitude as largely irrelevant, with effective application of behavior shaping techniques being what matters.

Sees attitude as vitally important, since having a non-judgmental and welcoming attitude determines whether the child feels safe and relaxed enough to interact and learn.

To learn more about The Son-Rise Program of the Autism Treatment Center of America:

Video Testimonials

Watch the video clips of program participants talking frankly about how The Son-Rise Program has taken them beyond hope to totally changing their children’s lives.


By: Raun K. Kaufman

You’re really going to want to listen to this. It’s an audio recording of a woman’s experience being trained in ABA and then working in an ABA center for children on the autism spectrum. It’s pretty intense.

I totally get that there are some people that don’t like me posting these kinds of things, but if people all over the world didn’t continue to have these experiences of ABA, I wouldn’t be posting them.

And if ABA practitioners didn’t keep insisting that this doesn’t happen or “isn’t real ABA,” it wouldn’t be so important to share this. (And we must ask: If this isn’t “real” ABA, how is it that so many practitioners worldwide seem to be getting the idea that it is?)

Look. When people claiming to practice The Son-Rise Program® do so in a way that violates its principles, we take them to court. (We really do!) We don’t just stand around and say, “Well, I know they’re holding this child down against his will and calling it The Son-Rise Program, but, oh well, that’s not the real Son-Rise Program®”

ABA practitioners can make a very nice living practicing ABA. And that’s totally fine. But you can’t profit off it while taking no responsibility for the children being treated in a way may would call abuse.

And that’s why I’m going to continue to post these true accounts... until something fundamental changes in how our sweet and beautiful children are treated.


From ABA to The Son-Rise Program/No More Tantrums

When Zachary started to show signs of autism, Beverly was told there was nothing she could do for him. The autism support that she was offered was minimal and she was given no hope. Zachary showed symptoms of autism such as minimal eye contact and no speech. Four weeks after reading Son-Rise The Miracle Continues, Beverly attended the The Son-Rise Program Start-Up autism training program and was offered a potential cure for autism. Just one week after, Zachary’s eye contact had increased dramatically and he now has confidence about who he is. Listen to Beverly’s story:

After 5 years a mother finds a way to help her son recover from Autism

William was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago. Although he had had substantial ABA treatment, he still had many symptoms of autism. He was non-verbal, made little eye contact, and spent a lot of time hand flapping and pacing. Now just four months, after coming to the Autism Treatment Center of America and implementing The Son-Rise Program with William, his mother reports that he has begun to speak, his eye contact is much improved, and his stimming behavior is rapidly decreasing. But most important there is now a meaningful connection between them that was never there before. His parents always believed he would recover from autism. Now they know how that will happen.

No Longer Rigid or Rote – Is now Flexible & Spontaneous

Tyler was a high functioning child with autism but there was no emotional connection. His symptoms of autism included spinning and an obsession with shapes and his parents were told by doctors and ABA centers not to let him participate in these behaviors. His parent’s health and marriage were suffering. After hearing Raun Kaufman speak at an autism conference, his parents came to the Autism Treatment Center of America™ where they attended The Son-Rise Program® Start-Up and learned to run a Son-Rise Program for Tyler. They play with shapes a lot! Tyler has achieved the 10 goals his mother had for him - including kissing her spontaneously on her birthday.

request info

Click Here to Complete the request form to receive The Son-Rise Program catalogue, the free DVD Autism Solutions, as well as descriptions of simple Son-Rise Program techniques you can try right away with your child at home.

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Request a complimentary, private 25 minute call with one of our Program Advisors to answer your questions and discuss how The Son-Rise Program can help you and your child

Helpful Books to Read

Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues

Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues

This book documents the development of The Son-Rise Program® and Raun K. Kaufman’s incredible journey out of autism as well as the journey of five other special children.

Read samples on-line.

“Barry Kaufman’s work is inspiring, ground breaking and visionary… Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, continues to establish the fact that yesterday’s miracles are becoming the science of today ... the science of love, compassion, and insight which will transform the world.”

~Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Author of Reinventing the Body, Ressurecting the Soul.

Happiness is a Choice

Happiness Is A Choice

This book describes the attitudinal backbone of The Son-Rise Program® with specific techniques of how to be more comfortable, and, therefore more effective, in working with your child.

Read samples on-line.

"... reveals the options and choices we can all make to find the road to happiness"

~Dr. Bernie Siegel
Author of 365 Prescriptions for the Soul.