The Relationship Development Intervention®, RDI®, is designed to empower families of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and similar developmental issues to play a major role in remediating the core neural and psycho-social problems that become obstacles to ASD person’s quality of life.
We believe that the primary focus should be on neural remediation – opening the pathway for dynamic psychological, emotional and social growth. We strongly believe that if we can help children with ASD to enter a ‘dynamic’ neural development pathway, then we will see real world progress and potential for Quality of Life for people with ASD.
For a child who develops ASD, the impact of this is a failure in the development of the Guiding Relationship. This loss creates a significant and devastating impact for the child with ASD, and for their parents and family.
In RDI® we understand the pathway for progress is in helping Parents establish and develop the natural parent-child Guiding Relationship, and bring their child into an awareness and ability to operate within this developmental foundation system. This is a developmental foundation for all relationship development.
In RDI®, Consultants teach, guide and support parents to be the agents of change for their child and their family. RDI® is child and family focused, tailored to the needs of the child and parents, based on developmental foundations.
Participants in RDI® are parents and concerned family members, along with a vulnerable “child” of any age. Children involved in RDI® are typically born with or have acquired neurologically based vulnerabilities that obstruct the development of the natural Guiding Relationship.
Parents entering RDI® typically possess normal and often superior parenting abilities. Frequently they successfully guide or have guided the vulnerable child’s siblings. However, when deprived of the motivation, active participation and accurate feedback from the vulnerable child, even the most masterful “intuitive” Parent Guide cannot be successful. Often parents shift their focus to Stability Maintaining ways of responding to their vulnerable child.
The goal of RDI® is developing a Guiding Relationship, initially between a child and his or her parents and then between the child and other significant adults in the child’s life. RDI® provides clear objectives related to child and parent learning and development. However, in the final analysis, success cannot be measured by checking mastered objectives off a list. Rather, it must be based on the ability of the family to construct and maintain an environment for the vulnerable child that provides lifelong opportunities for mental growth and that eventually leads to the child’s self-management and personal ownership of development.
RDI® focuses on constructing the essential foundations for mental development and harnessing the immense potential that we, along with most scientists believe resides within the family. We consider the RDI® program to be successful if the Guiding Relationship between parents and the vulnerable child becomes solidly established and contains the essential elements necessary for the child’s future ownership of his or her independent functioning.