Pages About Autistic Child And The Son-Rise Therapy
Slovenská verzia
Updated: 8th September, 2007

The "Maximum Impact" Course, April 2006

See picture gallery from the course in bottom part of this page.

We and Bears We signed to the Maximum Impact course, organized as well as Start-Up by The Option Institute, because already for the long time we have been somehow at a loss. We did not know what to do in the playroom. Robin was not interested in anything and it was clear that the problem is not in him, but in us. Already for some time, our volunteers had better contact with Robin than we have had.

Everything was very quick. As soon as we decided to find out what are the possibilities, we became to know that the course is only once a year and if we want to sign up, we must do it immediately. The place was as if prepared for us - the last two-bed room, the last translator's box. Again, we did not know what exactly it will be about but we knew that this course was more about work on parents that technics of the program and we knew that it is attended by families running their Son-Rise programs.

We definitely were not dissapointed.

The course itself Probably because of our expectations of the course (not for the specific contents, but for our expectation that it must be perfect), we were not totally excited for first two days. But then it broke down. For three mornings, sessions were lead directly by Bears - Raun's father and the main thinker which teaches the Option Process - lifestyle thanks to which Son-Rise was created. He is excellent psychologist and teacher. His sessions were not dry lectures, he walked among participants, asked them for their opinions and only after some time, I realized that he was teaching us this way, that he was demonstrating his philosophy directly in life. His sessions were relaxed and full of humor.

I would put the word "philosophy" into quotation marks because it is hard to say what exactly it is. It is partly life-view, but not only philosophy, not only psychology. It is a way how to see the world. The principle is something what I have already read a lot of times in his books, but here it clicked in my head: if we want to be loving and maximally effective, it is important to be happy. It is important to make happiness the priority in our lives because otherwise we are not able to do what we want (for example sincerely love others or run Son-Rise program).

But how to be happy when our child doesn't respond to us, when he/she is autistic or let's say when we have incurable disease? We must be destroyed from such things!

Special double-swing in the Option Institute Here comes the core which is special for Bears' teaching. No external stimulus (as disease of my child or my own) does not have power over my emotions and deeds. I myself am absolutely responsible for them. The sentenct "You made me crazy" is crazy itself; nobody can made me crazy, this favor is done on my only by myself.

Emotions do not emerge directly on a basis of external impulses. We always have some belief in ourselves, which judges the situation and thanks to which the emotion arises (for example "it is bad to be autistic"). These beliefs are examinable and what is the most important, we have control over them. Once we become aware of them, we can throw them away (if we want to) because they don't serve us. And when we throw them away and replace with others, the result is complete change of our experiences. And this process is very natural, without pressure or judging.

What I am talking about is called the Option Dialog. It is the dialog in which the explorer is looking for the origin of his/her problem, beliefs which activate it (yes, it is always belief, it is never external stimulus over which nobody has control). The facilitator asks questions, he/she is absolutely accepting, present and non-directive. The facilitator only helps, his/her questions do not lead the explorer to any direction, they arise from previous answers.

Megi with Raun, once autistic With the help of this dialog, we can (if we want to) get rid of fears, anxieties, different kinds of unhappiness which bind us. We can become aware of real motives of our deeds and feelings and if we want to, change our beliefs. Just for the example, the beliefs can be such things as "I am a bad mother if I have an autistic child", "When he doesn't look at me, it means he does not love me", "I am not worth loving", but also "If I am happy with the present situation, I would never try to change it".

Besides all this, we become aware of some basic ideas during the course. When we push Robin into something, he pushes back. It is absolutely useless to force him to anything (physically or other way). Everything can be taught on the basis of his motivations. But also: until we are totally - and I mean really totally - content with him as he is, we create pressure for change - and he fights back.

Of course, there were much more things during the course - Samahria (Raun's mother) had the afternoon Q & a session, we wathed videos and other things. The most important thing for us was however the way how we can work on ourselves.

So, what next? We are going to run the program fully, we are going to find new volunteers and we are going to work on ourselves to be as loving and accepting as we can, but also as happy regardless of circumstances as we can. We don not want to perceive the whole program as a sacrifice or something we are obliged for. To push myself to anything is as ineffective as to push somebody else. We are going to run the program with full energy because we want and we will try to be happy with Robin exactly as he is. And if he wants, we will do everything for him to reach his maximum potential.

Picture Gallery from Maximum Impact

Arrival to the Option Institute.

The Main House.

This is not the church,
the course run here.

Bryn among participants.

William among participants.


Maggie hugging Bears.

Our star - Robin,
among other children.

We with Dominika and Piotr,
Polish, with which we
become friends

Our translator when she
knew that we were taking photo...

...and when she didn't know,
together with Polish translator
(hi, Jan).

On the giant swings.


Maggie in the american car :-).

Entrance to the
Mountain House.

In the dining room.

Dining room decoration -
flags of countries of
courses participants.

It seems as if we are kissing,
but I am the one at the left :-).

Note my admiring loog
towards Raun.


Maggie and William.

Me a William.

Mountain House once more.

Bower dedicated to Bears'

We spent some very pleasant
evenings in this house.

This is where we were
accommodated - the Ravine house.

Well... leaving.