Coping With Loss

Dear Classmates,

I apologize for not connecting with each of you earlier – but I have been busy dealing with life and its challenges. On arriving home from the Empower Yourself program, I was ecstatic and continued to be so – keeping all of our teachings and feelings close to my heart. A week ago Monday my 84 year old Mom fell and broke her hip. This past spring, she had been diagnosed with a severe and highly progressive form of bladder cancer – so bad, that her urologists advised us to “let her die in peace” rather that operate. We took her to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and they performed a 7-1/2 hour operation, removing her bladder. She came through fine. Two weeks after she got out of the hospital, she was back in the hospital because of an extremely high temperature, blood clots in her legs and lungs, and a heart fibrillation. After another two weeks, she returned home under the care of full-time nursing staff. Since then, she has progressed marvelously, has been happier than she has ever been and, just in the past few weeks, had begun walking on her own.

Thanksgiving morning, I stood up in my Church and thanked God for the miracle he had worked in her life. Four days later, she fell. Last Tuesday, they replaced her hip – and she made it through the operation with flying colors. Later that evening, though, her doctor called and said they were having a hard time getting her to come completely out of anesthesia – what turned out to be a stroke. In the next two days she improved to where we could talk to her and where she could smile at me. Friday morning, she took a turn for the worse. Her kidneys had stopped working, and she fell into a complete coma. She died Friday evening and will be buried this coming Wednesday.

The most beautiful gift in all of this (among many others) was God’s gift to me of the Option Institute (and all of you loving people). Bears’ wonderful and inspiring story about the death of his Father was a real inspiration to me. Little did I know that I would need that inspiration so soon. It changed my entire perception of death and opened my mind to a new and positive way of thinking. With that inspiration, with all I learned and with all the love I received from each of you, I have handled it all perfectly. My Mom’s death was truly a remarkable and beautiful experience. Without all the usual anxiety, I was free to be fully aware of (and even enjoy) the dying process and the farewells that we are now in the process of bidding. Her whole family was present, as was our minister. I have continued to be happy – while also giving due acknowledgment to all my feelings. The timing of my Option Institute experience amazes me.

I am also truly astounded at how much I have truly become a changed person – completely at peace and grounded against the winds of life, and how grateful I am that I can look at all aspects of life (and death) so positively. My biggest challenge has been to not feel guilty about feeling so good – particularly in the face of peoples’ reactions to me. Everybody expects me to feel so sad and morose, that when they see that I am even happier than I was a month ago, I think they are shocked and don’t know how to respond.

I am truly enjoying life for the first time – ever. My relationship with my wife is even better than it was, and I am serving as a good example to my son. I am happy (or ecstatic) almost all of the time. Thank you all. I will continue to stay in touch with you and would hope that you do the same.

Love to you all

PS – I neglected to mention that the Institute has apparently made a mistake. I only signed up for the week-long course but, based upon the impact on my life, I think I was given a lifetime course instead!

Bob Allcorn

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Dear Donor,

Jeannie Reid was searching for answers to the challenges she and her family were facing. Jeannie and her husband Stuart’s son, Carson, had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition on the Autism spectrum. For Carson that meant being completely involved in obsessive behaviors and only using minimal words to identify objects, as well as frequently and completely melting down.

Soon after, Jeannie found the book, “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues” and when she read it, she KNEW she had found what she was looking for. She began using some of the Son-Rise techniques described in the book on her own until she was able to come to The Autism Treatment Center of America for the Son-Rise Program Start-Up. As she put into practice what she learned there, Carson’s world was opening up. Today Carson is attending a Montessori school as a 'typical' student and functioning at or above typical grade level, being fully verbal and conversational, and very interested in learning about the world and interacting as much as possible with other people. He is even taking swim lessons at the local YMCA and doing great!

“It has been wonderful to get, and stay connected with other people and Son-Rise parents from all over the world. My son’s progress had already come very far, but now I truly believe we can go all the way!”

Jeannie wrote.

Stuart Reid then attended the Empower Yourself course and brought home a new sense of clarity, balance and personal power. He shared his new empowerment with Jeannie and she in turn gained in confidence, strength and enthusiasm. Their own relationship began to flourish anew, as well. Life-altering changes were happening for Jeannie and her family.

Jeannie journeyed again to Sheffield, this time for the Fearless course at The Option Institute to help her recognize and overcome her personal obstacles. Jeannie wanted to continue her amazing journey as she had found using the techniques she learned in The Son-Rise Program and in Fearless had absolutely changed the lives of everyone in her family.

But, because the Reids’ finances had been seriously stretched by then, their next steps were put on hold. Then an amazing event changed everything. Jeannie’s college roommate and lifelong friend decided to start a Son-Rise Program scholarship fund for people from the Cleveland area. Since then Jeannie has been able to move ahead with her courses, taking Radical Authenticity, Son-Rise Maximum Impact and Son-Rise Wide Awake ... and eventually she became a Certified Group Facilitator.

Jeannie Reid’s story is about wanting BIG and making it happen. She is about to embark on her renewed private practice as an art therapist, and plans to be a super advocate for The Son-Rise Program in her area. Her wonderful new life is a product of her persistence and belief, and of the wheels she helped set in motion for others when her friends learned of how she and her family had been impacted by The Son-Rise Program.

“I know I will be able to give back by helping others, and that will be the top of my personal mountain! Thank you to everyone who donates! You are making a big difference in the world!

Jeannie Reid


Dear Donor

Two years ago, Antonio's kindergarten teacher told us something was not quite right with our little boy. He was not socializing, he somersaulted all the time and hardly spoke at all. At the time I was working for a municipality close to Florence, Italy and basically I had nothing left after seeing to basic necessities.

In the meantime, I looked up Autism with Google and as I was also looking for happiness and personal growth, I was guided to The Option Institute, thence the Autism Treatment Center of America. I read up as much as I could and started trying to apply the “Happiness is a Choice” suggestions. I'm not quite good at it but it has helped me with attitude, and everything else that seemed trying is really different after all this.

When I decided to come for The Son-Rise Program Start-Up, I really had little or no money to pay for it. I spoke to my friends, old and new. My mother helped me, friends I thought couldn't [help] tried their very best and the scholarship did the rest.

What the scholarship did was give a HUGE boost to my fundraising. About six friends contributed the rest, at the travel agency a very kind lady who I may now call a friend helped me some more. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. Here I am, happy to have attended the Start-Up program and looking forward to learning more and praying to God for guidance.

So the gist of the matter is, I am a happy mum who hopes to implement a wonderful relationship with her child and is riding a not so easy moment with lots of hope in her heart and THANK YOU is not enough for what I feel. I still remember William's words, “If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.” Now I'm trying to do different, bit by bit, day by day. I feel the difference already.

About Antonio ... we are going on with the Italian program and I play with Antonio after school in a quiet room in the house. Knowing what the little guy is exposed to (he's always putting his fingers in his ears and he seems to have problems with too much light in his eyes), I find him very brave as he bears it tolerably. Drums a lot to digest it all.

When we went to the doctor, just weeks after starting the program at home, she told me that she found him more attentive. His attention span has increased. He is also tagging or pulling at one's arm when looking for attention. The child psychologist last Saturday reported the same thing and what's more, my son has always required that I enter the room, hence assisting in every session. Well, this time he went in along with the doctor and told me, “See you later.”

At school, his teacher who speaks English as well, read up and watched my DVD (Kyle’s Journey, Jade and “I want my little boy back”). Now she's changing, bit by bit and I do appreciate that very much. He seems to be OK with her and actually sent me away from class this morning, again telling me, “See you later.”

He is now ONE HUGE GREENLIGHT and I'm hoping to be able to really have volunteers (still looking), raise funds and settle down to business.

God bless,



Dear Donor,

I am the mother of three children, all on the Autism Spectrum. Before I heard of the Son-Rise Program and the Option Institute, I was a desperate, angry and depressed person…. I was on Anti-depressants, sleeping multiple hours of the day, and for a period of time, using alcohol to run away from my pain.

Then I heard of the Son-Rise Program. I called to find out more about it and thought “this if for me!” But I could not afford it. You see raising one child with Autism is very expensive but raising three is just outrageously expensive with all the therapies and dietary interventions that we were doing.

But I was offered a full scholarship to the SRSU program. I have since attended all of the Son-Rise Programs and many of the Personal Growth programs offered by the Option Institute.  Each time I have been given a scholarship and each time I go I learn more about who I am and I change for the better each and every time.  Because of your most generous support, my children are recovering from Autism, I have found happiness in my life!  I am no longer on anti-depressants and I have so much more energy.

YOU are the reason that my family is in recovery. It is because of YOU that my oldest son now is enjoying school.  YOU are the reason my second son is speaking. YOU are the reason my daughter is no longer as rigid and controlling as she once was.  Thank you does not even begin to cover how much gratitude I have for you.  I thank God every day for you and I do not even know you.

Please know that you are changing lives with your donation to ATCA and the OI.  It is because of you that every day people are getting the help that they need. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

With so much love,

Kerry Rihtar