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RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) is a program developed by Drs.
Gutstein and Sheely in Houston, TX., to address the core deficits of Autism
Spectrum Disorder, through a parent coaching model of intervention. RDI
Program Certified Consultants focus on partnering with parents because the
foundation of our program is the ‘guided participation relationship’ – that
relationship children gain with caregivers early in life that allows them to
acquire an understanding of the world and culture in which they live. In
ASD, as well as other disorders including ADD/ADHD, NVLD, Aspergers, and
others, the guiding relationship breaks down and the communication feedback
loop between parent and child is impaired. In RDI, we focus on supporting
the establishment of that guiding relationship, providing parents the
opportunity to share experiences, teach, coach, and enjoy a more reciprocal
relationship with their child or children.
What does “doing” RDI look like?
RDI incorporates the family’s ongoing intervention goals into activities of
everyday life, such as doing the laundry, cooking and baking, watering the
plants, going to the grocery store, as well as people and toy play. These
activities are rich opportunities for engagement and collaborative learning,
no matter what the age of the child. Strengthening parent competencies and
success in guiding and supporting their child is invaluable for long term
quality of life for every member of the family.
What outcomes do we expect?
Through modifying the way we set the environment and engage in social
communicative interactions with children, we offer them the opportunity to
engage, share enjoyment, collaborate, and communicate with the parent and
other significant social partners. We are striving to support children in
the development of flexible thinking and problem solving, creativity, and
genuine communication in real life situations.