I just came accross an excellent article and video on RDI...
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – One out of every 133 Utah children is Autistic. Utah ranks third in the nation for the number of families living with Autism. There are several forms of therapy available; the most common is Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. Barbara Kalmanson, a Clinical Psychologist says "The goal of ABA is to get the child to comply with adults' wishes or adults' demands.”
Kalmanson is proponent of a different approach called DIR, which stands for developmental individual difference relationship based treatment. “In the DIR approach we are interested in the internal capacity of the child. This treatment is focused very much on work with the child and helping the parents to understand the child’s individual developmental profile”.
She says each child with autism has different needs, and any treatment program should be geared toward that individuality. “Some children with autism need and alternative form of communication like sign, or a device. Other children can speak very well; some of them can talk to you till the cows come home, but what they say is not meaningful in a back and forth interaction”. Once the child’s strengths and needs are determined parents are taught how to interact with their children in floor-time exercises. It’s essentially purposeful, meaningful playtime.
Read more and watch the video.