Soma Mukhopadhyay’s Workshop

A number of people contacted me regarding the documentary – A Mother’s Courage – the documentary about an Icelandic woman’s search to help her autistic son.  The documentary tracks the journey of a mother who interviews many and eventually goes to Austin, Texas where Soma Mukhopadhyay has created the Halo Clinic.  Soma is the mother of a non-verbal autistic child, Tito.  (Tito is no longer a child.) Soma developed a program, Rapid Prompting Method, to teach her son to read and write.  Tito has gone on to write several books, despite being non-verbal.

Joe, Emma’s therapist and I drove out to the Bronx this past Saturday where Soma was leading a workshop.  Soma described RPM as a method to “empower the student and express himself.”  Soma’s method takes a non-judgmental view of self-stimulatory behaviors.  She believes they are clues that can help us interact and teach the autistic child.  Soma never once implied nor does her website that her method is a “cure” for autism.   RPM is a means by which autistics can learn to communicate.

For those of us who parent an autistic child, that is an amazing and wonderfully hopeful prospect.  There is not a day that passes when I do not have the thought – I wish I knew what Emma was thinking.  I wish I had a window into her world.  The idea that Emma might one day be able to read and write is something I have hardly dared to wish for.

Toward the end of the workshop, Soma’s son Tito wrote on the large pad of paper Soma had propped up on an easel:  “I think you are talking too loud.”  Soma had been speaking into a microphone.  She held the microphone to his mouth so he could hear how he sounded as he made a noise into it.   It was a light hearted moment, a moment of a teenager commenting on his mother.

Tito writes in his book – The Mind Tree:  “One day I dream that we can grow in a matured society where nobody would be ‘normal or abnormal’ but just human beings, accepting any other human being – ready to grow together.”

I have ordered Soma’s book describing in detail her Rapid Prompting Method.  I am guardedly optimistic.

For more information on Soma and her work with her son Tito, go to:  www.halo-soma.org

2 responses to “Soma Mukhopadhyay’s Workshop

  1. Here is a link to a recent news report on stem cell therapies in Costa Rica.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-49088520100607

    Don

  2. Thank you for posting this. It’s an interesting article.

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