What is RDI®?
The RDI® program is a family-centered approach that supports parents in building closer relationships with their children. Parents guide their children in “real life” activities that build competence and self-confidence and become the foundation for their children’s development into independent, productive and emotionally connected adults.
RDI and the brain
The brain has the ability to change and grow new neural connections. Think of stroke victims learning to use new parts of their brains to recover lost speech or motor functions. RDI focuses on building neural pathways in people affected by autism. Rather than teaching skills that give the appearance of typical development, RDI actually restarts the natural course of development where children left the track or became stuck.
With parental support, children can continue to progress and learn how to think for themselves. This is much different than teaching your child what to think, since critical thinking skills are necessary to being kind and caring, managing money, driving a car, being employable, and so on.
The key to RDI is you, the parent. There are no therapists involved in treating your child in an RDI program. Children learn best through relationships, and you are more important to your child’s brain growth and development than any therapist ever will be.
Benefits of RDI®
How RDI can help you and your child
Children on the autism spectrum miss out on or fail to master many of the early developmental stages that typically-developing children learn effortlessly. RDI teaches parents to provide opportunities, in the context of daily life, that offer their children a second chance to master these stages.
The main goal of RDI is to engage your son or daughter in a guided relationship with you that increases your child’s capacity for learning. The program is customized to the age and abilities of children so they can be carefully and systematically supported through a “re-do” of the process of typical development.
My first RDI workshop was a real eye-opener. I was stunned by Dr. Gutstein’s videos of children before, during and late in treatment. I never would have guessed they had autism if I had seen the ending videos first! Nine years later, I’ve seen these same results in many more children.