SOURCE: The Autism Treatment Center of America

March 27, 2008 09:19 ET

Autism Treatment Center of America CEO, Himself Fully Recovered From Autism, Unleashes Bold 7-Part Challenge for Autism Awareness Month

Part 2: Stop Trying to Turn Our Children Into Robots

SHEFFIELD, MA--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - Raun K. Kaufman, CEO of The Autism Treatment Center of America™, issued the following statement:

We can agree that children with autism are human beings, yes? Then why do we thrust upon parents a treatment designed to "program" our children to obey commands like a robot?

Stamp out unwanted "autistic" behaviors. Achieve compliance through repetitive training. Reward desired behaviors with items such as food. Sound familiar? That's no surprise, since these principles share their intellectual roots with animal training. Yes, folks, we have now reached the point where it's controversial to assert that dog training is for dogs, not children with autism.

Why are parents still told that the best they can get is an educational program that pushes and pulls their children, stopping them from their self-soothing behaviors and programming them like robots to do as we say?

And, please, don't tell me "it doesn't work this way anymore." That's a tough claim to make when we have a school in my home state of Massachusetts that still administers powerful and repeated electric shocks to discourage unwanted behavior.

I, myself, used to have severe autism, but my parents created a program that enabled me to completely recover. Rather than forcing me to conform to a world I didn't understand, they joined me in my world. That was the first step toward my recovery. So, you see, there are ways to help our children without hurting them.

When it comes to children with autism, it's time to ask yourself: whose side are you on?

The Autism Treatment Center of America www.autismtreatmentcenter.org is home of The Son-Rise Program® for autism treatment and education. The Son-Rise Program is the only program that:

--  Begins by joining children in their world rather than forcing them to
    conform to ours
--  Was created by parents for parents
--  Helps parents cure their children in some cases and achieve
    significant improvement in almost all cases
--  Has helped more than 25,000 families from 75 countries
    

Media: To interview Raun K. Kaufman for Autism Awareness Month, contact Brenda Nashawaty at brenda@option.org or call 617-688-3253.

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