RDI AND AUTISM
By Sandy R-P
I am the mother of a now almost 8-year-old son. My son, looking
back, always had odd things going on from the time he was born,
but by the time he was two, there was no denying something wasn't
right. He received a diagnosis
of severe autism
at the age of three and he was non-verbal but for two known words.
He also has other medical issues I believe not to be related to
autism. At that same time we started early
intervention and also private O.T and Speech. I was a single
mom and didn't have a whole lot of money to spare, and insurance
fully covered the O.T and Speech.
I had heard about RDI
(Relationship Development Intervention) from someone and since my
son never sleeps at night, I read a lot about it. It was very interesting
and the concept seemed to me to make sense. A school district north
of me actually provides RDI in early intervention. I am not here
to promote RDI, simply express how it has worked for us and to let
other parents know this is an option and a less expressive option.
I didn't want to add more time to therapy hours away from home.
I really wanted more knowledge of what I could be doing while at
home with my child. RDI provided that tool.
what is Relationship Development Intervention?
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) teaches
parents how to effectively guide their children to develop the desire
and skill to share their experience with others and become motivated
to learn about other’s feelings, perspectives and ideas. RDI is
a remediation program that addresses the core deficits of autism.
RDI allows parents to feel adequate and competent again. It enriches
the entire family and allows them to experience joy.
Children involved with RDI become more flexible.
RDI dramatically increases their desire and ability to interact
with family and peers. After less than two years of the program,
most children are able to function in typical classrooms independently.
RDI is also extremely cost-effective. Therapists serve as educators
and consultants, teaching parents to incorporate therapeutic involvement
with their child into the course of their daily life. (I never had
a therapist, I bought an RDI book).
As a result of the private therapies, the school intervention and
RDI, my son has progressed greatly. The combination worked very
well for him. To encourage my child to be more flexible, I did silly
things to change his routine. By doing this at home and working
him through it, this made it easier for him to deal with sudden
change at school. The great thing about RDI, is it is parent-based
and once the child is home, their learning doesn't have to stop
once they walk through the door.
I only have one child, so to provide the opportunity
for the social aspect in the home, I invited our two neighbor kids
to play along with me, and also my nephew which is two year older
than my son. Now my son still has autism, he still has sensory issues
and isn't all that flexible (sometimes he is) but the improvement
from what it was is enormous.
I would welcome anyone to look into RDI. It can compliment any treatment
plan and other interventions all working at the same time. I only
bought a book, and joined an on line group for RDI. Now my son hardly
ever sleeps even with medication. I am chronically tired due to
this and dealing with autism behaviors. If the book was easy enough
for me under those circumstances, that should be proof RDI is easy
for any parent to do.
Click here to go to the
home page of this website: www.autism-help.org
Copyright held by the original author.