An Alternative
to the Son-Rise Program*

Growing Minds can be an effective choice for parents interested in the positive attitudinal and social features of the Son-Rise Program, while also wanting to include evidence-based methods that have proven effective for helping children with autism. We have been successfully integrating both approaches for over 17 years.

Comparing Our Programs to Son-Rise:

teaching child with autism photo
  • We balance social development with skill development. We train parents to create deep connection and high-quality social interaction with their children. We also teach them to provide clear, step-by-step instruction, helping the children to acquire necessary skills and to progress toward appropriate goals. Long experience has convinced us that there is no need to sacrifice one of these necessary areas to make progress in the other.
  • The Growing Minds programs are directed and taught by Steven Wertz, with 15 years’ experience teaching the Son-Rise Program and training its staff. Read more about Steven’s background.
  • In addition to their training in the Son-Rise Program, our team members hold graduate degrees, professional credentials and receive ongoing post-graduate training in diverse approaches. This formal education gives a broader and more informed perspective on autism than training in a single method can provide. It also brings appreciation for the importance of research, a commitment to accepted professional and ethical standards and the critical thinking skills to more objectively evaluate the many methods and claims about autism.
  • With Growing Minds, you work directly with Steven Wertz and benefit from his thirty years of experience working with parents and children affected by autism. No portion of your training (or your child’s) is delivered by interns, teachers-in-training or by recently graduated teachers.
  • Our programs are driven by a thorough evaluation of the child. This specific assessment of your child is the basis for all of our recommendations. We differ from the Son-Rise program in that we only utilize assessment tools and methods with proven validity, as established by independent research.
  • We provide written, individual education plans (IEPs). Even with improved relational skills, most children with autism require step-by-step instruction that identifies precise goals and uses clear methods to reach them. We provide a written, individualized IEP and we help you revise and update it through ongoing support. These written plans have also been helpful to parents seeking funding from education authorities or other sources. We do not use general or “boiler plate” curriculums, but customize each plan for each child.
  • autism expert working with child photoWe use a broad array of methods that have been validated by research as effective in the treatment of autism. Because we are not bound by a particular philosophical perspective, we are free to draw from the best methods available to help your child. Each member of our team is enrolled in continuing post-graduate education, to broaden our skills and to keep them current. Learn more about the methods we use and why they are considered evidence-based or “best practices” for autism. 
  • Follow-up and support are built into our program. All Growing Minds Comprehensive Programs include six-months of distance support by telephone and internet. No matter how effective a weeklong program may be, it cannot prepare you for every question that will arise after you go home. When you become one of our clients, we are committed to being there for you for as long as you choose.
  • Our program structure is flexible. Some children don’t require a full-time home program and some families can’t provide one. We consider the needs of the child and family as well as the resources in the local community in order to recommend a program structure that will meet the child’s needs while also being sustainable. 
  • We do not advocate a 12-hour per day program, because research indicates that this is not necessary. Because all home programs place considerable demands on the family’s resources, we consider it essential to design programs that achieve the necessary progress without placing unnecessary demands on the family.
  • We do not require that you attend a pre-requisite adult seminar before we will begin working individually with you and your child. Our 4-Day Comprehensive Programs are individually designed according to the past background and experience level of the parents, as well as to the needs of the child.  Parents who are just beginning to work with their child will benefit, and so will those with advanced experience and training.
  • Our programs are less expensive. While the cost of providing in-depth, individual training to a family and child is high, regardless of where it is obtained, we prioritize delivering excellent value for the depth and quality of our services.

For more information on our programs, please, complete our contact form and we will give you a call back. 


* The Son-Rise Program® is a registered trademark belonging to Barry Neil Kaufman and Susan Marie Kaufman. Growing Minds is not affiliated with the Kaufman’s or the Son-Rise Program.