Stories of Autism, Asperger’s and Success Through the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Program

My Baby Can Dance is for anyone who needs a reminder about what makes everyday social encounters so wonderful and why sometimes, the simplest forms of communication can lead to the most wonderful moments.

For parents of children affected by autism, it is hard to identify exactly when their child slipped away. For one mother it was after planting flowers, for another it was one night in his sleep, for many more it was already too late to say goodbye.

The stories in this book are of families that are all very different and yet their struggles are strikingly similar. They have made mistakes, they have cried and laughed and prayed. And, in the end they have done it all for the love of a child.

Along with the remarkable stories of RDI families is a message of hope; that in their own time and in their own way these children will find their way back home.

“My Baby Can Dance is one of the most hopeful books yet on the treatment of ASD. The success of the approach – as beautifully told in a series of personal accounts by families and RDI Certified Consultants – lies in taking a whole systems orientation in which all family members become committed participants. Coupled with the ability of RDI to harness the inherently creative power of open family communication, what emerges, is an intense drama of love, patience, and a deepening appreciation of the humanity we all share.” -Alan Fogel, author of Developing Through Relationships

“Families that include a child with autism or Asperger’s likely will connect with the 12 families chronicled in a new book by Steven Gutstein, a nationally respected expert on autism who wrote Autism/Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle, published six years ago. The new book, My Baby Can Dance, tells stories of how the dozen families were changed by their experiences and learned to handle the challenges of having a child with autism.” -Ellen Tomson, Pioneer Press

“RDI is a philosophy of treatment which focuses not on symptoms but on relationships. It emphasizes personal strengths, and not just weaknesses. And it empowers families to work with their children with confidence, using ingenious approaches under the guidance of well-trained consultants. I especially like RDI because it is based on sound principles of social communication development. My Baby Can Dance is a book for all parents and therapists who wish to learn more about RDI. Twelve families and their consultants tell us, in diary form, of their ongoing everyday experiences using RDI: their anguish, hopes, triumphs, set-backs, and occasional break-through. The stories are poignant, but the parents seem buoyed with hope that the road-map they have been given for working with their child will lead to his or her having a better life. Every parent of a newly diagnosed child with autism should read this book.”
-Peter E. Tanguay, M.D., Ackerly Endowed Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Emeritus), University of Louisville

“The stories that unfold in My Baby Can Dance are testament to the magic of what can be accomplished with a set of deceptively simple ingredients: patience, tenacity, common sense and a sense of respect and curiosity about how our children with autism think, learn and experience the world. The families who share their experiences in My Baby Can Dance show us that RDI, whose very core ingredient is love, can for some children be powerful and wondrously effective. Family-based and non-invasive, RDI’s gentle and sensible approach is one that should be considered first, rather than after other treatments or therapies have failed. -Ellen Notbohm, author of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew.