Friday, September 25, 2009

Itsy bity poo poo

The delightful little girl here is Sofi, with whom I have the grand privilege of playing for a number of hours each week in her playroom.

This last 10 days I've been with Sofi and the amazing Tracey and Saeid, her mom and dad, in Sheffield Massachusetts at the brilliant and beautiful Option Institute and Autism Treatment Center of America, where we've all been getting trained/helped with Sofi's Son Rise Program. I've cried or nearly cried this last 10 days more than I do during most 10 day periods, and laughed more too. I am so thankful for the opportunity. I've learned a ton, and hopefully changed a little as well in the direction which I desire to change.


Joe said...

Interesting. There are some rather extreme claims made about Son Rise which makes it sound almost - well, Scientological.

Benjamin Ady said...


can you elaborate/reference?

Joe said...

Well just that there are big adverts here in newspapers by them claiming to cure autism. The typeface and style to the casual observer is similar to that of the Church of Scientology.

Joe said...

B see this

Benjamin Ady said...

Hey Joe--thank you for linking the photo. I know about this tour of Raun's cause I kind of bumped into him for a couple minutes last week at Option, and also I was talking to someone who works in marketing who was working on getting all the books, etc. shipped out to these various cities for that tour.

Have you seen any of Raun's story? He's this pretty engaging, charismatic, funny speaker and person, and when he was a kid he was severely autistic. Wouldn't look at or talk to anybody--tested at a below 30 IQ. see here

My sense is that the claim to cure autism is considered fairly outrageous in a lot of circles where people know autism and/or work with children or adults who are autistic. I'm not totally sure about that, but that's my sense.

I think the reaction might have something to do with the generality of the claim. Bears Kaufman makes this general claim that autism can be cured, and yet the cases are relatively few compared to the prevalence of autism.

Autism Treatment Center of America is currently in the process of becoming an evidence based program. I think they are right, that autism can be cured. But I also understand how that claim kind of freaks some people out.

The comparison to Scientology is interesting and new to me. I've not been exposed to either set of posters, I guess =). Scientology feels unsafe to me, while Son-Rise/Option feel safe.