Friday, March 19, 2010

Starting RDI

I received my first book on RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) in the mail yesterday. I can't wait to read it! As usual before starting something new I watch people for awhile. I’ve been watching my friend Marsha and following the Glasser’s posts. Both families have seen major growth in their relationships with their children, enough growth that I want to try it out.

So what is RDI? In a nutshell RDI is based on the belief that the development of dynamic intelligence is the key to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism. The program's core philosophy is that individuals with autism can participate in authentic emotional relationships if they are exposed to them in a gradual, systematic way. The goal of treatment is to systematically build up the motivation and tools for successfully interacting in social relationships. It has been my experience that there are no quick fixes that real change and growth for anyone, including those on the spectrum, happens over time.

It’s best to work with a therapist, but as usual the Arnwine bank account can’t support it. Anyone read Holly Peet’s article re this? Anyhow, back to RDI, I will learn as much as I can and maybe by this fall I will be educated and funded enough to hire a consultant. BTW anyone need a speaker contact me. Sorry for the shameless promotion!


Nicole Beurkens said...

It's great that you are starting on the journey to learning more about RDI! As a professional I find this approach to be hands-down the best for addressing the core issues of individuals on the spectrum and with related disorders. I love that it can be customized to meet the individual's needs and really supports the entire family in the process. Enjoy the book!
Nicole Beurkens

Sue from Oz said...

Hi Bonnie,
I've looked up some stuff about RDI since reading your blog but am having difficulty getting my head around it. Look forward to seeing what you think about it.

The Glasers said...

Holly Peet totally gets it. In away, I'm glad there were fewer opportunities to get a second mortgage on the house to fund autism therapies because there were none. By the time ABA therapists were available, we decided we didn't need it!

The RDI Book at the connect site is worth the money because it gives you the theory to help you understand why do the things that sound opposite to other autism therapies.

It is a change in lifestyle and I thought of a good analogy to explain it to my local discussion group. Have you ever read pioneer stories about what they had to do to the land to prepare it for farming? First, the farmer had to know what to do (that is where the book, theory, consultants, cyber friends, IRL friends, etc. come in handy). Second, they had to remove obstacles in the soil: remove stumps, boulders, rocks. We do that by we slowing down and looking at what things in our lives are making it hard to slow down and address dynamic intelligence: too many activities for our kids, too many activities for us, time-consuming therapies that focus on static thinking, etc. I pulled Pamela out of all small groups for three years. It was worth it because, when we put her back in one, SHE WAS COMPETENT and is truly participating! Third, you have to prepare the soil:
we focus on broadband (nonverbal channels too) and we speak in declarative language rather than scripts and prompts.

Once the farmer has made all of those preparations, then you sow the seeds. The seeds are ideas of dynamic thinking, child objectives if you have a consultant. Not all are going to sprout and that is okay. You sow the seed and then wait to see what needs to be done to reap more bountiful fruit.

Both farming and restoring the Guided Participation Relationship through RDI require patience, time, and preparation.

The Glasers said...

Did I say I am delighted for you!!!!! I really had no idea what I was getting into, but I was so glad we did!

It is so exciting to see your child learning to think for themselves and pay attention to what people are doing and eventually what to know them better and know how to interact without scripts and prompting!