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We are an Army family! Miles was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 6 and he is now 18 years old. Marley is Miles' Autism Service Dog and his best friend. This dynamic duo has been together for 8 years and look forward to many more adventures! 

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love and sound judgement.  
                                                       2 Timothy 1:7


Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

And God is able to make every grace overflow to you,
so that in every way,
always having everything you need,
you may excel in every good work.
                                                          2 Corinthians 9:8

One of Miles' therapist recommended we try RDI alongside ABA. She felt that this specific therapy would be beneficial to Miles in overcoming many problems common among children with Autism. This was one of the first therapies we started doing at home on a daily basis. We saw a huge improvement in Miles' eye contact and conversation skills.  We had found an amazing Consultant who guided us along in this hands on application of principles.

I have attached a video that was required to be filmed as part of RDI. Looking back at this video reminds me how far Miles has progressed and how blessed we have been by the wonderful people the Lord put on our Autism path! 


What is Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)?
RDI is a system of behavior modification through positive reinforcement using dynamic intelligence. The goal of RDI is to improve the individual's long-term quality of life by helping them improve their social skills, adaptability and self-awareness. 

The RDI program for ASD is a tailored set of objectives, extending from the Family Guided Participation Program and intended to target the core deficits of individuals with the diagnostic distinction, Autism Spectrum Disorder. Started less than a decade ago the RDI Program for ASD provides a remedial approach to this complex disorder.

A comprehensive set of developmentally sequenced steps, the RDI Program for ASD is committed to re-building the Guided Participation Relationship as the cornerstone for neural development. Families under the guidance of a certified consultant slowly and carefully construct opportunities for their child's neural growth while adding complexity. Over time, parents create a formidable impact on their child's ability to form reciprocal friendships, mature emotional relationships, conduct successful collaborations, engage in flexible/adaptive thought and master problem-solving abilities necessary for job attainment and success in the 21st century world. 

The six objectives of RDI are: 

1. Emotional Referencing: The ability to use an emotional feedback system to learn from the subjective experiences of others. 

2. Social Coordination: The ability to observe and continually regulate one's behavior in order to participate in spontaneous relationships involving collaboration and exchange of emotions. 

3. Declarative Language: Using language and non-verbal communication to express curiosity, invite others to interact, share perceptions and feelings and coordinate your actions with others. 

4. Flexible thinking: The ability to rapidly adapt, change strategies and alter plans based upon changing circumstances. 

5. Relational Information Processing: The ability to obtain meaning based upon the larger context; Solving problems that have no right-and-wrong solutions. 

6. Foresight and Hindsight: The ability to reflect on past experiences and anticipate potential future scenarios in a productive manner. 

The program involves a systematic approach to working on building motivation and teaching skills, focusing on the child's current developmental level of functioning. Gradually additional children are added to the group and the number of settings in which children practice in order to help the child form and maintain relationships in different contexts. 

Who provides RDI? 
Teachers and other professionals can be trained to provide RDI with an RDI-certified consultant. Some specialized schools offer RDI in a private school setting as for now this is used as a home based program. 

What is a typical RDI therapy session like? 
In RDI, the provider uses a comprehensive set of step-by-step, developmentally appropriate objectives in everyday life situations, based on different levels, or stages, of ability. Spoken language may be limited in order to encourage eye contact and non-verbal communication.  

Below you will find a video of Miles and his dad performing one of the therapy exercises from RDI. This exercise required Miles to reference his dad in order to perform the exact movements. There was no talking during this exercise because the goal was for Miles to reference body language and facial expressions. The bean bag routine was one of Miles' favorites! 

If you have tried RDI with your child, please feel free to leave a comment telling us of your experience!

The information provided below can be found at RDIConnect.com

1 comment:

  1. HI, so grateful that I stumble to this blog of yours...