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With a Brush of Love: Children With Autism and Special Needs

  • Broadcast in Family
Jon Hansen

Jon Hansen


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For those of you who follow television (which is almost everybody), and in particular the recent Emmy Awards this past Sunday, you know doubt heard the same name over and over again`as one pundit covering the event put it. The name to which I am referring is Temple Grandin, an HBO biopic movie which garnered 15 nominations, winning 7 including the coveted "Outstanding Made for Television Movie." That alone should of course warrant recognition far and wide, but in this instance the story is still bigger than the movie as it recounts the life of Dr. Temple Grandin, a Doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado State University, and bestselling author,who also happens to be a person with high-functioning autism. At the risk of dating myself, this recent movie is not my first encounter with a film dealing with the subject of autism. For that, you have to go back 31 years to a 1979 film titled "Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love." An incredible, true life account of a boy, Raun Kaufman, who was diagnosed with severe autism and profound mental retardation (below 30 IQ). He had 12 out of 13 symptoms of autism. What is amazing is that Raun's parents, Bears and Suzi Kaufman, invested a level of love and sacrifice that to this day still moves me as it did the first time. As retold in the movie, Suzi Kaufman worked with Raun for a total of 70 to 80 hours a week and Bears Kaufman sold his advertising agency to have more time to work with Raun. The end result, at six years old Raun was known as "a happy, active, bright, and loving normal boy. Today, Raun is a teacher and writer who serves as CEO for the early Intervention therapy program Son-Rise. Joining me to talk about autism and how treatment has progressed since 1979 is author and the President and Founder of With a Brush of Love Lauren S. Henry.