Exceptional Woman – Program Reviews

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“A program that allows you a safe place to explore your beliefs about yourself. With great laughter and fun activities you will come to a place of understanding why you do the things you do. A program that will help you make life changes you have only dreamed of.”

Nicole Tanzi, Mother / Teacher, New York

“I realize clearly now that expressing myself and sharing my experiences and self judgments are my way to freeing myself, to creating the happiness I want in my life. This week has been perfect. I feel such gratitude to the Option Institute for continually being the love and acceptance you teach. Thank you. Thank you.”

Shayu Talbot, Community Service Worker, Canada

“Being here has been a beautiful and powerful journey in learning about myself; accepting and loving myself. I’ve learned to uncover beliefs that held me back and to accept the ones I didn’t want to change. I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with me. Most important for me is that I can allow myself to receive love and anything that would come with that; and I have received lots of love here.”

Patricia Rodriguez, Son-Rise Mom,, New York

“I am amazed at the transformations I have made in just five days. To really accept myself as I am, knowing I have the ability to change if I want, and accepting, non-judgmentally whatever I decide, is the biggest gift I could have given myself.”

Andrea Villarreal, ABA Therapist, Indiana

“I have loved being here! The teachers are amazing! The Option Process is so simple and beautiful with help from the teachers. I’ve learned easier ways to get what I want only relying on my inner wisdom and making my own well of love more accessible. I feel the Option Process is helping me see all possible short cuts to happiness!”

Nadia Berg, Secretary, Denmark

“The Exceptional Woman class was awesome in helping me know myself better. Through mini-dialogues, talks and a variety of interesting exercises I became more comfortable with my body and my spiritual and emotional self. I would recommend this class to any woman who wants to know the power within her.”

Alice Mansfield, Homemaker, California

“In Exceptional Woman I found the Option Dialogue Process to be both simple and profound. This process has allowed me to uncover and change lifelong self-limiting beliefs with surprising ease and swiftness. I am experiencing a new profound sense of freedom…freedom to love, to be loved, to express, to create, to take my joyful self into the world and enjoy.”

Barbara Nicholls, Executive Assistant, CA

“When I arrived to Exceptional Woman I was a confused, distraught and unhappy woman. I left with confidence, clarity for my future and most of all feeling number one in my life.”

Michelle Bailey, Mother / Small Business, Missouri

“Exceptional Woman has been 5 days of life-changing bliss for me. 36 years of hatred, self-loathing, and self-abuse have fallen away with the web and nurturing of the staff and my classmates. I went to the edges of my discomforts and fears, never for a minute doubting that I was safe, loved, and absolutely okay. I allowed myself to look into dark, long neglected, uncomfortable nooks in my closet, and come out into a bright, clear, loving, acceptable place for myself. I am perfect just as I am and I am finally enough. Thanks.”

, Homemaker, Maryland

“I have taken other Option Institute programs, which have been life-changing, but Exceptional Woman was exceptionally life-changing. I shifted a limiting belief that I honestly had believed I could not change, and that belief was to love the way my body looks. Prior to this week, I thought I could change any other belief but this one was implacable. I was wrong! I have come out of this program truly, madly, deeply in love with my body as it is today. I also want to say that the 4 exceptional women who teach this class each bring unique style and those styles are like 4 pieces of a puzzle that, when put together, create a learning experience that is amazing and powerful and joyous. I will take this again.”

Jeanie Irwin, Antique Dealer, England

“As this truly life-changing experience unfolded, I kept feeling a sense of awe at how much love was behind the foundation of its birthing. I knew the teachers worked more than any of us were aware of to create an experience that would be THE catalyst for transformation, rebirth, and would plant a seed of power to change our lives. I know that every woman in Exceptional Woman walks away transformed. I crossed a line this week and shed a way of life filled with limitations that most women carry constantly. I washed away all of those sabotaging beliefs, and was given tools to take with me that will change the rest of my life’s journey. It will ripple out to my family and my community. My gratitude is infinite to have experienced this in this lifetime, to have awakened in this way.”

Sarah Berk, Son-Rise Program® Mom, New York

“It has been a tremendous joy to be in such an ultimate comfort zone to work on my issues with 60 other women all wanting to be exceptional! We are more tribal and connected than I ever imagined, which allowed us to really help each other and root for each other and love each other. The classes were phenomenal – excellent curriculum full of fun and variety, designed for women to really dig deep and pull up greatness. I have grown in tremendous ways – especially seeing that the dramas I use (victim, control freak, drama queen, etc.) really do NOT work to get me what I want. I always saw value in them in the past – NO MORE! I also came to love myself as a woman, which I could never fully embrace in the past, always feeling it was a disadvantage. I love being a woman – I love being me – and I am EXCEPTIONAL! Exceptional Woman rocks!!!”

Dane Griffith, Manager, Massachusetts

“I came to Exceptional Woman to own my gifts, talents, and inner passion; to learn tools to help me create a life of non-judgment of myself; to have a deep spiritual relationship with God; and to own the power I have within to embrace each event with arms wide open as a blessing for me, no matter how challenging. The teachers must have heard my longing because they created the teachings, the meditations, the group and individual exercises for me to learn what it means to love myself beyond what I had ever envisioned. They gave me the tools to create a new life for myself – where my own worthiness is owned, loved, and celebrated by me, no matter what anyone else says.”

Erika Cohen, Education Consultant/Counselor, New Jersey

“Exceptional! Wow, did I have a list of things I wanted to change, and change I did. I was always hiding parts of myself because of fear of people not liking me. Exceptional Woman helped me to fully uncover the exceptional woman in me and wear it on the outside. The most useful I can be to myself and the world is by allowing myself to shine, love, let my voice be heard, be myself, and always dance like no one is watching.”

Sally MacKenzie, Son-Rise Program® Child Facilitator Trainee, Australia

“Exceptional Woman helped me change my lifelong belief that I was weaker and not good enough as a woman – a priceless gift. I now see myself as strong and lovable in all my parts and pieces – there is nothing unlovable about me. I’m filling my body with joy and love and FLYING – I no longer have need or room for pain to keep me held down. I go on from this moment knowing – truly KNOWING – that there is absolutely nothing to fear when I show my greatness. Thank you, Option Institute, for continuing to grow and helping me grow along with you.”

Jan-Marie Gundacker, Sessions Coordinator, Massachusetts

“I would recommend Exceptional Woman for any woman. It is not strident or men bashing. It is an affirmation of women, it is looking at outmoded societal beliefs about women. It offers a new way of looking at ourselves and our roles. It gives us tools to strengthen ourselves and new ways of looking at adversity. The revolutionary notion of taking care of ourselves and then our spouses, children, etc., makes so much sense. It has given me a new lease on my life and marriage.”

Anne Wright Wilson, Design Consultant, New Jersey

“Exceptional Woman provided fabulous, fun opportunities to reach into deep, previously untouched places inside me regarding my womanhood and my true beauty, loveliness, and power. With the love and support of the teachers and my classmates, I searched deeper inside than ever before and truly discovered incredible strength, self-love, wonder, and gratitude as a truly exceptional woman. This week was far beyond what I expected in personal growth, laughter, and communion with other women. BRAVO!!”

Lee McLendon, Educational Counselor, Vermont

“Exceptional Woman has been like coming home to myself. The processes, the exercises, the camaraderie, the sharing have all interwoven in such a way that I now feel anchored in my self and able to radiate all of me out into my life. I have come away clear and strong in my own knowing and ability to unearth and recognize what I want and to be able to take action on my own behalf – from a place of joy, love, and peace – happiness!”

Leslie Dana Torkelson, Actress/Model/Mother, New York

“Exceptional Woman is a week for women, by women, with women – beyond fabulous. Wow! I came terrified to look at myself as a woman and I leave grateful for me and my body form. To take apart beliefs of victim and contrast them to a powerful woman’s beliefs and see where each stance takes us makes choosing now much clearer. I leave determined to be #1 in my life and come from a place of loving me first.”

Mim Burkholder, Registered Nurse, Connecticut

“In Exceptional Woman I was able to explore myself and create concrete actions to take with me and use in my life. I realized how I’ve kept myself small, restricting my big dreams in life, in fear of being knocked down. I know now that only my opinion of me matters and is of importance. I am creating and implementing a love program for myself to support my new vision. I’m destined to live my life larger than ever before. I’m excited for myself, my children, and my Son-Rise Program®. Watch out!”

Fran Turbiak-Magnotti, Son-Rise Program® Mom, New Jersey

“In the warm, loving, and safe atmosphere of The Option Institute and the group of amazing, strong and beautiful women, I melted. In Exceptional Woman, I gave myself the opportunity to let the layers I created around myself come off. I’ve been challenged in the most loving way I could imagine. Everything is okay. I came here to look for the life in myself. I go home with that and even more love glowing all around me.”

Esther Iepema, Social Worker, The Netherlands

“In raising teenagers, running a business, and dealing with my own health challenges, I have often felt less than exceptional, never mind having had time to remember that I was a woman! Exceptional Woman was an amazing course filled with insight and inspiration, and it was all delivered with so much humor and fun. I laughed more than I can remember laughing in a long time. I’m going back home renewed in heart, and absolutely clear in my mind that despite what my lovely teenagers may think – or anyone for that matter – I am now and forever will be an exceptional woman!”

Heather D’Amore, Photographer, Maryland

“My life is changed because of Exceptional Woman. To focus on universal issues with an awareness of how we respond as women with such a beautiful collection of loving, supportive, and gutsy women was such nurturing fun! This program is an experience designed to fully benefit any and all women. I learned to love my body, get a clearer picture of my wants, and stop concerning myself with everyone else’s expectations. What a fabulous week!”

Liz Sturm, Accounting Manager, Massachusetts

“I came to The Option Institute really worried about what other people thought of me, which to me was a very limiting way to live my life. Exceptional Woman gave me the opportunity to explore that and the greatest revelation for me was that my belief is all about me and has nothing to do with other people. When I am focused on me, I free myself up to be more loving and a lot less worried. It feels great!”

Elizabeth Bagger, Sociology Student, Denmark

“Just when I thought I had nothing left to learn, Exceptional Woman taught me for the first time in my life what being a woman is really all about. Not only am I now proud to be a woman, but I have the ability to express what is exceptional about being a woman. And I now have the tools to really show who I am and to love me as an exceptional woman!”

Roxanne Litherland, Administrative Assistant, South Africa

“Exceptional Woman was oozing with love, enthusiasm, and excellence in the preparation and presentation of the classes. Beauty, love, and humor inundated the atmosphere of the week and I found myself dropping limiting beliefs and emerging more and more free and powerful. Thank you, exceptional teachers”

Isis Maria Cohen, Son-Rise Program® Mom/Option Process® Mentor/Counselor, New York

“Exceptional Woman is an outrageous program. I found my female power and finally got access to my personal power and sources. I go home knowing that I now can live my life to the max as a social worker, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.”

Miriam Tellegen, Self-Employed, The Netherlands

“With every class in Exceptional Woman, I grew myself more confident, lovely, spiritual, delightful, peaceful, powerful, creative, and joyful. The classes were all inspiring, ones which I can take and apply easily and readily at my own free will. They add to my knowledge, which I continue to gather, of being a great, loving, and assertive woman. Thank you for creating this amazing journey for us”

Edith Tully, Jin Shin Healing Practitioner, Massachusetts

“When I first selected Exceptional Woman, I thought it would be exceptional. Indeed, there was nothing less to expect from the hearts and souls of its creators: Samahria, Bryn, Beverly, and Caiseal. I arrived heavy laden with so many negative beliefs about myself. Now I’m leaving standing tall in the knowledge that I am a worthy human being, ready to make a difference in the world. Thank you, Option Institute!”

Brenda Ladonde, Esthetician, Canada

“The reason I took Exceptional Woman was that I wanted to be an exceptional woman, but I wasn’t sure what that was. I used to compare myself to everyone, which resulted in me feeling bad about me. At first, being with just women was scary for me – I’ve always been closer to men! However, now I am so happy, excited, and grateful for being here this week with so many exceptional women. I have a greater grasp on what being exceptional is: it comes from loving me first, which is what I’m now doing. I know now why I could never find it – because I was looking outside myself and it always has been and always will be in me. Thank you!”

Tilly Larment, England

“Words cannot adequately describe what a unique and amazing experience it was to spend a whole week with 60 powerful women in Exceptional Woman. Although we were of all different ages, countries, and life experiences, we learned that we had so much in common. We laughed and cried, sang and danced, explored and reflected. We gave ourselves the time to be ourselves and be together as women. It was a weeklong celebration of our specialness.”

Melinda Saulson, Dog Sitter, Michigan

“After Exceptional Woman, I truly feel exceptional! What that means to me is that I feel more self-confident, self-assured, self-accepting, and excited to express the real me to the world!! I’ve never felt so passionately in love with myself as a woman as much as I have this week. I’m ready to go out into the world and let everyone see outrageous, beautiful, exceptional me!;”

Kelly Griffith, Professional Training Assistant, Massachusetts

“In Exceptional Woman, I went deeper and further and discovered and changed a belief that had been blocking me from really being the very best of myself in every situation. I feel lighter and freer than ever before, and I am so excited about taking my new beliefs home with me. I AM an exceptional woman, and I will bring the fullness of myself to my family, my friends, and my work!”

Kathleen Joyce, Consultant, Minnesota

“Exceptional Woman was truly an exceptional experience. This course is a chance for women to take off the masks of society and explore women’s issues in a safe, loving, and fun environment. I couldn’t think of a better gift for all the exceptional women in my life than to take this class.”

Jenifer Westphal, Full-Time Mom, Pennsylvania

“The gentle, deep journey Exceptional Woman creates and provides for me feeds my soul, unleashes my mind, and harmonizes my body to live confidently as the exceptional woman I am. Nothing short of miraculous.”

Kathleen Mallanda, Life Coach/Seminar Leader, New York

“Exceptional Woman is an amazing program! If you are a woman new to The Option Process® concepts, this program gives them to you in a strong yet gentle way. Samahria and the other teachers shine a light that supports you while also challenging you. I didn’t know how much I knew before this week – these extraordinary women helped me see it. Thank you!”

Sue Arnold, Writer, Virginia

“Imagine allowing your feet to take root in the fertile earth so that you are so firm in your stance that nothing and no one can throw you off balance. Now picture that you are so filled with light from within that it shoots out of your eyes, the ends of your hair, and the tips of your fingers. That is what I gave myself in Exceptional Woman – an exceptional me!”

Nancy Haas, Real Estate Agent, Pennsylvania

“Exceptional Woman was truly exceptional! I could write for days about everything I learned and all the ways I will now be living my life differently. But the thing I appreciated most was the constant focus on us as women, the systems we operate in throughout our lives and CHANGING them. I felt so loved as we were each constantly challenged to do our lives differently so we can now go home knowing our exceptionality will shine.”

Joanna Winograd, Son-Rise Program® Teacher, Connecticut

“Exceptional Woman has been the most incredible experience for me – as a wife, mother, daughter, friend. I have received the gift of loving myself in such a way that it just can’t help but bubble over to all those around me.”

Cherri Sanes, Son-Rise Program® Mom, Massachusetts

“Exceptional Woman is the ultimate power-woman seminar. With love, humor, and intelligence, the staff supported each participant to find and embrace her own authenticity – and to let go of historic and societal changes. The result is freedom, excitement, and love – which I am ready and happy to bring to my world in ever-expanding ways. Thank you so much!”

Jane Wyker, Family Counselor, New York

“I felt so safe and nurtured in Exceptional Woman. There was a no-holds-barred freedom to explore issues of body image, sexuality, and woman stuff that never could have happened if the guys had been there. This workshop is sensational”

Bran Callet, Project Manager, California

“Exceptional Woman helped me to clearly see how strong, powerful and awesome I am. The intensity of this program allowed me to dig deep into myself and find the light and the space of creation.”

Erika Sigl, Program Assistant, Germany

“What a delicious, energetic, and surprising course! To be with women in Exceptional Woman as we learned to accept, embrace, and celebrate all of who we are is the most profound gift.”

Anna Christy, Peacock Housing Coordinator, New Jersey

“In Exceptional Woman I learned to fully validate and celebrate the female half of the human population. I made changes that I have wanted to make for years – but I didn’t know how. I am not only more flamboyant now, but also more deeply grounded and centered. The Tree of Me has grown this week – both my branches and my roots. Huge gratitude!!!”

Betty Dunbar, Housekeeping Supervisor, Massachusetts

“I came to Exceptional Woman already convinced I am one. But during this week I uncovered a few remaining feelings and beliefs about my body through which I had been postponing the daring act of loving myself completely, head to toe. Now I’m even more exceptional as a woman, because I’m loving every single inch of myself and my body – no exceptions.”

Susan Griffin-Towbin, Freelance Writer, California

“Participation in Exceptional Woman has afforded me an opportunity to find freedom in my femininity, power in my identity, and the ability to give and receive nurturance. This week has brought a sunlight to my spirit that has been lost for many years. Thank you.”

Nancy Bacigalupo, Nancy Bacigalupo, Massachusetts

“I gained a valuable gift of learning how to access myself. When I am feeling uncomfortable, I can turn it into a fantastic avenue for me to explore my beliefs or the stimulus and then choosing my response. Whenever it feels like I am judging myself or others or blaming others for making me feel a certain way is gold. I can use my new tools to ask why I am making myself feel this way and practice happiness for a change.”

Eddie Na, Engineering Manager, CA

“I learned this week that I have the power. It starts with me. I am the puppetmaster for myself. All the love that I could ever want is available in abundance within myself. I have also experienced sisterhood like I never could have imagined. We all came as caterpillars and are leaving as butterflies.”

Gail Ferver, Stay at Home Mom, Pennsylvania

“Exceptional Woman will help you stand tall in who you are. This week I changed from a small, hiding person who was afraid to speak out my story into someone who believes that I am more than my history and that I am strong and can stand tall in who I am.”

Alison Taylor, Son-Rise Program Mom, United Kingdom

“Exceptional Woman gave me lots of opportunities to change some really meaningful beliefs that I carried with me. I learned to be grateful that my body was meant for me, that I am perfect just the way I am and that I am capable of loving any person that is, or comes into my life, just by making that decision for myself. It gave me tools that I know I will be able to use in my everyday life to come to a place of happiness and love. People were so loving and accepting; this was a safe place for me to learn how to explore and love myself as well as others. Thank you!”

Judy De Koningh, Child Facilitator, Holland

“I came to Exceptional Woman grieving the loss of my son who is grown and off to college. I am leaving this week excited to develop and enjoy a new relationship with him and with myself. I am comfortable embracing change and looking forward to this next chapter of my life. I have tools to take with me that I will use for the rest of my life to create the most amazing life possible.”

Tiahna Skye, Manager NHI, California

“Exceptional Woman-an exceptional program. With these tools, I allowed myself to explore every layer of my womanhood in such an exceptional way. I took each layer out, explored it, made the changes I wanted and then put it back in and I can now say I am an EXCEPTIONAL WOMAN.”

Holly Balls, Son-Rise Child Facilitator, Massachusetts

“I have lived so much of my life in fear, anxiety and depression, essentially hiding from the world. I was letting life happen to me. I thought I had no control. I have learned to view the world and myself so much differently through my time here at the Option Institute for the Exceptional Woman program. I realized that I do have a choice about the direction of my life. I can go after what I want, taking care of me first. As I love and accept myself more and more deeply, I have more room to love and accept others in my life, no matter what their opinions are of me. I don’t need anyone or any thing else to complete me. I complete me!”

Alison Casurella, RN, Oregon

“In Exceptional Woman I found very loving women who are able to share their innermost secrets and feelings. That was always a problem with me until I came to this safe place where you are not judged on any thing we say or have done.”

Renee Lang, Housewife, New York

“Exceptional Woman taught me to look inside of myself for all life’s answers. Happiness lies inside of me and every minute of every day I can choose to be happy or not. All is OK. This program addressed many issues related to womanhood, sexuality, body image, spirituality, loving our womanhood, family issues, etc. I feel honored and blessed to experience such a life changing week along with the amazing women of Exceptional Woman 2008.”

Kristine Wagner, Homemaker, Michigan

“I soared to new heights. I learned more about myself and grew more in four days than I have in four years of therapy. I am especially appreciative to have learned that I am loveable exactly as I am and that I will be OK no matter what life brings.”

Stacy Berrin, Neuropsychologist, New York

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The Option Institute and its teachers have had the honor to present programs (during the last four decades) that explore the attitudes and beliefs we have (and may want to change) and to help program participants find their own answers to questions about relationships, careers, family challenges and health issues. Our new program, Health & Healing: Navigating Life’s Health Challenges (formerly '5 Days to Live') , focuses on navigating significant health challenges and decision-making with greater ease, clarity, and clear purpose.

We are not a medical facility and we do not dispense any medical advice. We have and would always guide our program participants, to consult with their doctors, healthcare providers, and family members in making medical decisions for themselves and those they love. Neither Mass General Hospital nor any member of its medical staff endorses any program being offered by the Option Institute and its teachers.

NOTE: Attendance of live sessions via Zoom are required to complete this course.

Please note, this is a per-person registration



PRE-REQUISITES for attending Advanced Power Dialogues are:

  • Completion of The Option Institute’s PowerDialogues program.
  • If it’s been more than 5 years since you attended PowerDialogues, please call 413-229-2100 to discuss options.

NOTE: Attendance of live sessions via Zoom are required to complete this course.

Please note, this is a per-person registration


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