Tuesday, May 8, 2007

RDI-What is it?

The new therapy we've started with Pooh. RDI stands for Relationship Development Intervention and was developed by Dr. Gutstein as a therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders. It's a developmental therapy meaning that it's based on what normal development is and where in that process the child has taken a different path. People with autism have "core deficits" in their development. They all have these deficits but may manifest them in different ways. The main breakdown of the autistic brain is the deficit in their Inter-Subjective Relationships. They don't learn from others in the same way that neurotypical (NT) people do. Normally people pass their thoughts, desires, motivations etc through others and then learn from that. Sort of a reciprocal learning. Autistics don't do that. They don't pay attention to what others are thinking or doing. A lot of times they just don't care. As long as everything is ok in the world they've created, then they are fine. It's when they are required to adjust to someone else's thoughts, intentions or actions that they breakdown, or even meltdown. The purpose of RDI is to repair, or go in and fill in the missing gaps of these deficits. RDI is parent-based meaning that the parents do the work. RDI consultants pinpoint the areas that need help and then give support and advice to the parents along their journey. The reason that the parents are the ones that do the work is due to the fact that you're working on repairing the faulty relationship. Who better than the child's parents, as guides and helpers, to work on these early developmental stages? Once a good, solid and healthy relationship is there with the parents, then we can move on to relationships with others.

For more info on RDI you can go to the website at http://www.rdiconnect.com/

So that's our new and main therapy right now. Soon, i'll blog on Pooh's first assessment with a RDI consultant.

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