Exceptional Woman – Teacher Reviews

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Samahria Kaufman
Beverly Haberman
Leah Taylor-Roy

Samahria Lyte Kaufman

“An energy of love, knowledge and beauty. A teacher who holds a mirror for you to see your true self without judgment but gives full acceptance for where you are at that given moment in time. A life-changing experience!”

Nicole Tanzi, Mother / Teacher, NY

“Samahria is so amazing! I love her laughter! I wish every woman, every mother, every wife, every daughter, every sister, every grandmother in the world embodied the wisdom and love that she embodies. Wow!”

Shayu Talbot, Community Service Worker, Canada

“Authenticity, laughter, love and commitment to one self is what strikes me as Samahria’s gift. I am blessed to have experienced her and these qualities are what allowed the lectures and exchanges to be fully presented and experienced by me.”

Shree Baguio, CEO, NY

“Absolutely awesome, brought so much energy to the room. Her laugh really taught me that it’s okay to show your real self.”

Michelle Bailey, Mother / Small Business, MO

“Has an awesome energy and presence. So inspiring. Love her laughter and sense of humor. Able to impart deep truths and deal with difficult issues in an incredibly loving way.”

Paisley Hillegeist, Homemaker, CT

Beverly Haberman

“A teacher who embraces life. Her energy level was inviting and fun. She just makes you want to join in and explore parts of yourself you never thought you would. A joy!”

Nicole Tanzi, Mother / Teacher, NY

“I love her enthusiasm and excitement, her ability to get to the core of the issue and how simple and straightforward her teaching style is.”

Shayu Talbot, Community Service Worker, Canada

“So beautiful. She is such a clear teacher. I see clarity within me when I hear her questions.”

Patricia A. Rodriguez, Son-Rise Mom, NY

“Has a fabulous way of explaining things and making them clear, fearless and loving without being intimidating or preachy. Totally accepting of herself and others. Easy to learn from.”

Paisley Hillegeist, Homemaker, CT

“I liked the way Beverly looked into people’s eyes so directly and was so present. I appreciated the way she zeroed in on people and really heard what they were saying. I appreciated how she also covered the material clearly and in a fun way.”

Alice Mansfield, Homemaker, CA

“Such love and energy, sharing and teaching me to change, shining a light where there was darkness. Thank you.”

Michele Placais, Guest Services Supervisor, MA

“Enthusiasm, clarity of purpose, intention and beingness are only some of the many qualities I appreciated about Beverly. Her message and her authenticity are what made her presentations so effective.”

Shree Baguio, CEO, NY

“I absolutely loved Beverly’s energy. She was so excited to be teaching us and sharing with us her experiences that it made my experience of the class so much more fun and exciting! Thank you Beverly so much! I love you.”

Jyldyz Wood, Self-Student, DC

Leah Taylor-Roy

“A calm, soothing voice guiding students with her own life experience and providing a safe environment to explain your feelings about what you believe. A peaceful presence to all!””

Nicole Tanzi, Mother / Teacher, NY

“She has such a personal approach to us. I love the connection she gave us. She has a beautiful smile. She is very simple and in depth in her teaching; it’s hard not to grab onto what she’s teaching.”

Patricia A. Rodriguez, Son-Rise Mom, NY

“Professional (in a really great way), classy, yet not artificial, patient and very present. Has an inner strength and joy which manifest beautifully through her teaching.”

Patricia Rodriguez, Son-Rise Mom, NY

“Leah is graceful, calm and has a softness to her teaching style. Leah is a gentle teacher that gets you to open up in a peaceful way.”

Cecile Keaveney, Self-Employed, MA

“Calm, quiet presence; Love of self and acceptance are the qualities in Leah that allowed her lectures and message to have its greatest impact on me. She got across what was needed with grace and love.”

Shree Baguio, CEO, NY

“I always learn so much when we have Leah. She is my role-model in every way of who I want to become and how I want to arrive there. Thank you so much for your encouragement!”

Jyldyz Wood, Self-Student, DC

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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, 5 Days to Live, Defying a Terminal Cancer Prognosis , focuses on navigating significant health challenges and decision-making with greater ease, clarity, and clear purpose.

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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