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Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love

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Title: Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love  
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Language: English
Subject: Melissa Francis, Raun Kaufman
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love

Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love
File:Son-Rise A Miracle of Love.jpg
DVD cover
Distributed by Filmways (original) MGM (current)
Directed by Glenn Jordan
Produced by Richard M. Rosenbloom
Screenplay by Barry Neil Kaufman
Samahria Lyte Kaufman
Stephen Kandel
Based on Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues 
by Barry Neil Kaufman
Narrated by Barry Neil Kaufman
Starring James Farentino
Kathryn Harrold
Stephen Elliott
Michael & Casey Adams
Shelby Balik
Missy Francis
Kerry Sherman
Music by Gerald Fried
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti
Editing by Sidney M. Katz
Production company Rothman/Wohl Productions
Country United States
Language English
Original channel NBC
Release date May 22, 2012
Original airing May 14, 1979[1]

Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love is a televised docudrama film that aired on NBC in 1979 and is adapted by the biographical book Son-Rise (currently Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues) by Barry Neil Kaufman. It is the real life story of how, according to his parents, Raun Kaufman completely recovered from severe autism.[2] The film was directed by Glenn Jordan and the teleplay was written by Stephen Kandel, Samahria Lyte Kaufman, and Barry Neil Kaufman.[3]

The film tells of Bears and Suzie Kaufman and their newly born son, Raun. By the time he was eighteen months old, Raun was diagnosed with a perpetual disability known as classic autism—which, at the time, was classified as a form of childhood schizophrenia—and had mental retardation. Accordingly, "although advised to institutionalize Raun, his parents...instead created an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an effort to reach [him]."[2] Subsequently, Raun became typical of neural development and earned his master's degree from Brown University.[2] The film went onto receive the Humanitas Prize award.

The therapeutic, distraction play therapy progressed into a teaching model called The Son-Rise Program. By 1983, it was founded as The Option Institute and the Autism Treatment Center of America in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Raun, his family and other staff members currently serve on the board of directors.[4]


Raun was born "like all, perfect" to Bears and Suzi Kaufman.[1] Eventually his parents noticed that Raun could see only certain things and could sometimes hear. He had also lost a couple of words that he had been taught.[5] He had 12 out of 13 symptoms of autism. Medical professionals were pessimistic about Raun's condition.[1]

The Kaufmans decided to work with Raun, although he had not yet reached the age of two.[5] The Kaufmans' utilized their downstairs restroom which was the only place free of distractions. When Raun flapped his hands and spun plates so did Suzi and Bears — joining Raun. After Suzi spun plates with Raun for several months, Raun looked directly at Suzi and smiled for the first time since Raun had become autistic.[5] Other forms of contact Raun made included crying when he was thirsty for juice.[5] Raun's mother worked with him for a total of 70 to 80 hours a week and his father sold his advertising agency to have more time to work with his son. The Kaufmans' work was successful.[1] At the end of the film, Raun was six years old and was known as "a happy, active, bright, and loving normal boy."[1]


Principal photography took place in California.[6] Because of California child labor laws that prohibits children from working over three hours, twin brothers Michael and Casey Adams portrayed the role of Raun.[6]

The film was directed by Glenn Jordan, produced by Richard M. Rosenbloom, and executive produced by Bernard Rothman and Jack Wohl with the teleplay written by Stephen Kandel, Samahria Lyte Kaufman, and Barry Neil Kaufman.[3] Throughout the film, singer Debby Boone sang the track "Is there Room in Your World for Me?"


The cast that played the role of the Kaufman family are listed below.[7][8]

Awards and nominations

In 1980, Samahria Lyte Kaufman, Barry Neil Kaufman, and Stephen Kandel earned an Humanitas Prize award in the 90-minute category.[10]


External links

  • The Option Institute
  • The Autism Treatment Center of America: The Son-Rise Program
  • Barry Neil Kaufman
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