The Option Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

The Option Institute Reviews

Updated April 18, 2017
44 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Bears Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman
31 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Miracles Abound! (Even for a profound cynic)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Delivery Associate in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Program Delivery Associate in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Finding myself looking for a new adventure in employment, my interest was piqued by what sounded to be almost ‘too good to be true’ in the form of the Option Institute; a non-profit just down the road which, quite literally, changed people’s lives on a daily basis in actual, quantifiable measures. I did my due diligence, read all available literature at my disposal, and then applied.

    Upon being hired I found my desk at the epicenter of activity, the essential heart of the Son-Rise Program®. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Do these people really have this magical power to be able to bring children out of autism? Was it just once, with their son Raun, and then you know, the promise of a future for parents with no hope? Come on, this really can’t be happening over and over again…..and then….I watched…and I continue to watch.

    I watch through my window…I watch each Monday morning as the parents arrive. I watch their body language, it says it all; utter despair, desperation, despondency. I watch on Tuesdays as they start to stand a little straighter, smile a little bit. I watch on Wednesdays, parents relaxing, turning their faces towards the sun, as if to the future, basking in the light of a new world revealed. I watch on Thursdays as parents play carefree in the snow with their gift of a child, the weight of the world unburdened, the horizons of hope endless, their lives transformed. And it happens week after week after week….And it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

    Cons

    For me, there are none. Unusually for a more corporate-functioning non-profit, the workplace environment is nurturing, compassionate and understanding, with a focus on development of its team members to enable personal and professional growth. Both of the founders are kind, compassionate, fair and understanding. Their love for what they do emanates throughout the campus and through team members who execute the mission. Having experienced a personal crisis, no less than 3 weeks after I started, the love and kindness that was shown to me by Samahria and all involved with the Son-Rise Program® was exceptionally unexpected, but gratefully received. The support I receive from both of my direct superiors surpasses none and inspires me to excellence in all of the work that I do daily. We should all be so fortunate to find ourselves in an organization such as this along the paths of our careers.

    Advice to Management

    Continue being your exceptionally wonderful selves!


  2. "Great job- great people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Teacher/Counselor in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Teacher/Counselor in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Option Institute part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've worked at the Option Institute for over twenty years and it is the best job I've ever had, We help children with Autism develop and become happy people and help their parents as well. The staff is excellent. A great use of my life over these last two decades.

    Cons

    There are no cons to this type of work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing!


  3. Helpful (1)

    "An Excellent Common Vision"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    . I have worked in many corporate organizations and the Option Institute is truly a breath of fresh air. My supervisors actually care about me and my advancement, versus just the work i complete. I am constantly met with respect but also strong direction from my leaders. My favorite thing about working here that is so different from the other corporate jobs I've had is that EVERYONE including the CEO are on the same level. Everyone gets respect, everyone gets the chance to grow and everyone is invited to share there honest feelings and experiences. No one is "better" than anyone else.

    Cons

    I would love if this company had more opportunities for the different departments to get together. To create an even bigger team connection. Also, with it being a non-profit organization, the staff comes here to change the world, not collect a big pay check.

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to offer staff programs they can take or gift to family/friends after they have been here for a while, or after they have perfect attendance for a while, or some incentive that involves gifting a program.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "90% of "good reviews" are requested by the CEO"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Option Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Not many. I met a lot of wonderful people who are over-worked and under-paid.

    Cons

    Barry Neil Kaufman is a verbally abusive narccist who doesn't trust any employee who isn't related to him. Most employees are expected to complete the workload of an entire department for a minuscule salary. Constant criticism of your personal character and child-like attitudes all around.

    Advice to Management

    Upper, upper management needs to retire and let younger, fresher, ideas in. Maybe... just sell the whole place for better use.


  6. "When you love what you do it does not seem like work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I am so thankful that I said YES!! 4 years ago to an amazing opportunity to work here at the Option Institute and Autism Treatment Center of America. I have been given so many opportunities to grow and learn so much about myself. This has been one of the most fantastic benefits of being an employee of the Option institute! Having a job that has stretched and helped me grow into a much happier person and a more productive employee. I love the people I work with and have felt supported and appreciated. The classes have helped so many people become more loving towards themselves and therefore are more loving in their own world! I was given the opportunity to support the teachers and participants as we travel all over the world teaching about The Son-Rise Program(R). I love what I do and what is taught here. I look forward to every program and event I help coordinate. I have made friends with people I have met from all over the world!

    Cons

    It did take a little while for this city girl to get used to the sounds of nature vs traffic,,, now I would not have it any other way!

    Advice to Management

    I love how they are always striving to do the next best thing! Having an on line class is going to be so beneficial to so many families! ,, Please keep evolving so we can reach every single person who needs hope and help with their children, through the Son-Rise Program!


  7. "Great Place to Work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have been working at The Option Institute for 16 years and I love it! I have had many opportunities to grow and learn new skills. Every time I drive on to the property, I smile because it is so beautiful. The people who work here are warm and friendly from the CEO to part-timers. The standards are high and the training is terrific. There is a general attitude of optimism, possibility, and enthusiasm. The mission is exciting. We serve people and help change lives. I see this all the time and I love knowing that I help to make a difference in the world.

    Over the years I have been involved with Public Relations, Marketing, Videography, Video Editing, Audio Editing, Counseling, Scheduling, Social Media, Teaching, and Special Projects. I have always enjoyed working closely with the CEO, the Directors and other Management who take the time to support and train thoroughly and with patience. I feel respected and encouraged to share my ideas. I am very happy working at The Option Institute and plan to stay.

    Cons

    Some people may not want to be in such a rural area. It works well for me but not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Continue leading with vision so that The Option Institute grows in new ways to help people all over the world. Thank you!


  8. "I clean all day, and it doesn't bother me what so ever."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Guest Services in Sheffield, MA
    Former Employee - Guest Services in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Option Institute (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever worked. I am a college student bouncing back and forth from home to school. They have let me come back to work for them during breaks to make money for school. The staff there is like a family, I feel like I could walk in having a bad day and walk out having a good one.

    Cons

    Working on the Guest Services team meant cleaning all day, but that didn't matter at all. The work environment is amazing and my coworkers are my friends. Even though we were working hard, it had it's many moments of fun. I hope I can go back on my next break and work for them again!


  9. "Child Facilitator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been a Child Facilitator at The Son-Rise Program for over 5 years, working with children with autism and their parents, and I cannot say enough good things about this organization and the work that we do. The amount of dedication and love that we share with the families and children we work with is a privilege to be a part of. I believe this organization is best suited for individuals who are hard working, dedicated, and passionate about helping others. If a person is looking to "float" through a job, this is not the place for them. This organization is for action takers, for people who believe they have something to offer the world and are excited about it. If you are truly wanting to contribute to the world in a profound way, this is the place for you.
    Specifically to my job as a Child Facilitator-- We are trained to work with children in a way that truly helps them do things they have never done before, such as, look people in they eye, speak, play in new ways, connect, have fun! By learning the techniques and attitude of the Son-Rise Program, you will learn to help children with autism in a way that no other organization does. It is very rewarding and fun work!

    Cons

    There are some misconceptions out there about this organization that can be a challenge to overcome when attracting new staff or helping new people.
    There have been people who have accused us of being a cult, which could not be further from the truth. (A cult tells you what to think. We, on the other hand, empower people to think for themselves in any way they choose. So basically we are the exact opposite of a cult).
    There have been people who claim management expects too much from them. In my observation over the years, those are the people who most lack work ethic and passion.
    Basically, I feel the negative attitudes of a few people have sometimes been a barrier to others seeing what we are really all about. It's a shame that sometimes the loudest people are the least informed.

    Advice to Management

    I think management should change the format of programs. Weekend programs would be so attractive to so many people-- easier to get time off work, less time away from their families, less expensive.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "AR Clerk"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Ar Clerk in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Ar Clerk in Sheffield, MA

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's a small organization, so you end up interacting with staff from various departments. The small size allows interaction with the CEO, so individual job performance is recongnized by all levels of management. Co-workers and management are very friendly. It is a relaxed work environment in a beautiful location. You have the option of observing the opening day of the programs that are taught here. This is a great way to see firsthand what we do and who we're helping.

    Cons

    Since it is a small organization, the departments are small, which does not leave much opportunity for career advancement.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "My love for the Option Institute continues to grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Sheffield, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been with the Option Institute Autism Treatment Center of Americafor more than 7 years and my current job title is Senior Program Advisor. Basically I am much like a guidance counselor for people who are interested in our Adult Personal Growth Programs or parents who want help with their Autistic Children. From the first point of phone contact, we establish a lasting relationship with each and every one of our participants so they feel heard and cared for. I absolutely love what I do and feel so grateful to work in a supportive and loving work environment where standards of excellence are high and integrity is vital. If there are challenges that come along with my job, I am encouraged to bring those challenges forward and work toward a resolution versus letting them fester. We have regular departmental meetings where I have never felt unheard or undermined. The founders of the organization frequently reach out to me and ask for my thoughts and opinions making it clear their first mission is to improve the services we offer our participants and our staff. They are devoted and gentle, with an eagerness to get to know every single person on staff.

    Cons

    Cons- As with any organization, there can be challenges with interdepartmental communication; however this has begun to strengthen for us and I look forward to increased communication.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to those who are devoted to this organization. Your openness and willingness to change promotes a healthy work environment.


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