Autism Treatment Center of America®

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The Son-Rise Program vs. Floortime/DIR and RDI:

As with The Son-Rise Program, Floortime/DIR and RDI understand the importance of social connection and relationship development for children with autism. And, as with The Son-Rise Program, Floortime/DIR and RDI focus on these areas (as opposed to ABA, which focuses primarily on behavior change). For that, we have a great deal of respect for these two programs.

However, although the overall goals are the same, the way that the Floortime/DIR and RDI methodologies endeavor to achieve these goals is very different from The Son-Rise Program. These differences in approach make all the difference for both parents and their children.

To read a much more detailed explanation of the differences, click here.

Floortime/DIR and RDI vs The Son-Rise Program

Repetitive “Stimming” Behaviors


The Son-Rise Program

Advocates being “playfully obstructive”, which means endeavoring to generate social interaction but playfully getting in the way of the child’s behavior so they have to interact with you to move you.

Advocates “joining”, which means entering the child’s world by enthusiastically participating in their repetitive behavior until the child interacts of their own volition. This is seen as central to creating a willing interpersonal connection.

Repetitive “Stimming” Behaviors


The Son-Rise Program

Neither stops nor joins the child.

Advocates "joining", as explained above.

Red and Green Lights: The Exclusive/Interactive Continuum

Floortime/DIR and RDI

The Son-Rise Program

Seeks the child’s interaction regardless of the child’s “state.” Facilitators are taught to look for opportunities to create and build interaction as much as possible.

Teaches how to see, in each moment, where a child is on a continuum - from exclusive/in their own world (red lights) to interactive (green lights). During red lights, children are joined in their world. Teaching and challenging happens only when the child is giving a green light.

Celebration of the Child


The Son-Rise Program

Does not believe in big celebrations of the child (particularly with regard to eye contact) because of a concern about doing anything which might be construed as ABA-type behavior-shaping reinforcement, which is seen as bleeding social interaction of most of its humanity. When the child engages in some way, the facilitator either remains silent or “spotlights” what the child did in a low-key manner.

Sees another way forward with a different kind of huge celebration which adds humanity. Celebrates eye contact, communication, flexibility, and engagement as magnificent and meaningful steps toward the world of others. Uses celebration to express a deep sense of gratitude that the child can understand, enhancing closeness and social engagement.

The Importance of Attitude

Floortime/DIR and RDI

The Son-Rise Program

Values attitude, but does not make it central to every aspect of program implementation..

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. It also determines whether parents stick with a program.

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

Request a complimentary, private 25 minute call with one of our Family Counselors 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

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

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.