Southfield (CW50) – Raun K. Kaufman has one of the most interesting stories you will hear from someone who was diagnosed with severe autism when he was a child.

One of the reasons Kaufman’s story is so interesting is because you can know the story of nearly his entire life through his book, the movie based on his life, or by following his family’s widely-known story in the autism community.

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When Kaufman was a young child, he was diagnosed with severe autism. The prognosis given to his parents was that Kaufman’s IQ was less than 30, he would never speak or communicate meaningfully, would never prefer people over objects, never go to college, never play sports, and never fall in love. His parents were told that the prognosis was certain. But that didn’t stop them from looking at their son and seeing his possibilities while turning there backs on the prognosis.

Kaufman’s parents sought to understand their song, rather than try to “change” him. They began joining him in his repetitive activities, accepting his differences to his siblings, and would wait for the day when he might connect with them instead of forcing something. His parents waited months while participating in what they called “joining” in his activities. Slowly, over the course of time, Kaufman began to glance at his parents and smile or even purposefully touch his parent’s with his fingertips. His parents had joined his world and therefore, he slowly inched his way into theirs.

Raun K. Kaufman and his mother Samahria Lyte Kaufman (Courtesy of Raun K. Kaufman)

For three and a half years, they worked with him and it all paid off. Kaufman’s severe autism diagnosis was reversed. Kaufman went on to graduate from Brown University, get married, and live a life that his doctors said was not possible.

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Kaufman’s parents used their method and developed The Son-Rise Program and founded the Autism Treatment Center of America to help other families across the world enable their children to defy their seemingly limited prognoses.

Kaufman recently developed a new program called the Autism Crisis Turnaround. ACT is a three course program developed to help loved ones handle situations of crisis involving their loved one who is on the autism spectrum. These situations can be hitting, yelling, meltdowns, frequent trouble at school, fighting, anxiety, or facing challenging life changes. The Autism Crisis Turnaround was developed by Kaufman and Kate C. Wilde, who has spent 30 years working with children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Author Raun K. Kaufman

Kaufman joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to discuss his life story and his reversed autism diagnosis. He also discusses his new Autism Crisis Turnaround program.

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50.