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Showing posts from 2011

RDI strategies ( with tools of the mind)

I am excited to write this blog ( starting a series to help with strategies for the home and schoolroom) for so many reasons! By the end of this series I may have covered them all, but we will start off with the foundations for why I think this topic is incredibly important for the ASD community.
Tools of the mind is a book that takes a developmental approach for children…typical children, It is written for teachers, to give them tools in the classroom to help their students construct knowledge from their experience and memories. To help equip children with Mental tools as quoted in the Preface “ Mental tools are ideas we learn from others, modify and then pass on.” This is the link from Amazon about the book, http://www.amazon.com/Tools-Mind-Vygotskian-Childhood-Education/dp/0130278041/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321685132&sr=8-1
and this is a link on a write up about the approach. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/magazine/27tools-t.html?pagewanted=4
This book does not reference…

Countdown to the Holidays.......with RDI

This time of the year gets even busier for us so here are a few ideas to put some RDI into your day to maximize opportunities.Try some of these fun activities with your child...Remember to keep it simple, with lots of pauses and non verbals to help foster experience sharing and lots of waiting and declarative communication to see if your child can *THINK* of his/her next step!!!! Some modifications may be needed depending on your child. Have fun and always keep in mind ...it is the experience we are spotlighting, not the activity! Check back in January for 60 days through Winter...with RDI

Paint together , each of you with a brush and poster boardCut two pieces of fruit up and taste test the differencesTake a walk to spotlight breathing in the cool airPlay Freeze DanceCoordinate drinking a favorite drink together (cocoa anyone???)Blow up a balloon and see how long you can keep it in the airStart a placemat
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/crafts/thanksgiving-dinne…

Parenthood episode- I looked them in the eyes

Last week’s parenthood was so telling when it comes to the raw emotions of watching our children struggle with understanding other people’s perspective.My eyes instantly started to burn as I fought back the tears as I watched *mom* watch Max sitting on the playground reading a book as the other children interacted.If you missed the episode, you can find it here http://www.nbc.com/parenthood/

I also enjoyed watching the writers roundtablehere www.nbc.com/.../1354851 and here is where Jason Katims talks about the asperger’s storyline taken from * real life*
Of course as I watched parenthood, and watched the classroom scene ( raise your hand if you felt like reaching through the TV into that classroom??), along with the lunchroom and playground, I could not help but know that a parent of a child with Autism had to be involved in the writing.We, as a community, can relate to the emotions that we all go through, no matter what side of the spectrum our children fall.
Nothing rang more true to …

RDI Cheat sheet to start.....

Relationship Development Intervention ®
"Cheat" Sheet by
Kathy Darrow-RDI Certified Consultant


There are two different ways our brains process information, Statically and Dynamically.
Static thinking is what you know. For example, formulas, procedures (like following a recipe), memorized information (like multiplication tables), habits and routine.We know that one rule is we need to stop when the traffic light is red.
Dynamic thinking is what you can do with what you know in a continually changing world. In other words, how you solve real world problems.Dynamic thinking involves major processes like flexible thinking, experience sharing communication, appraisal and self-awareness.When we use dynamic thinking our brains are operating more mindfully.We deliberate, reflect, worry, hypothesize, and daydream.AN example is what happens if the traffic light is not functioning.We can deliberate the fact that the light must be broken and plan our next action accordingly.
Our children on th…

Eye Contact- Fostering your Child with Autism to WANT to look at you

“Look at me”….I don’t know about you, but each time I hear that I am transported back to my childhood, when I’m in trouble with my Mom.I would come home and first thing I knew to do is NOT look at my mom….because well, gaze holds all sorts of emotion!!Maybe if I did not look at her, she would think I did not see her and I could escape upstairs…yeah, you know how that ends!!

To my surprise fast forward to when I became a mom and then for my second and third child,a mom to two children with Autism…I found myself hearing some people tell me to instruct my child to look at me for any sort of eye contact.I of course did just that for awhile…because like any mom, I wanted desperately to have my beautiful boys look in my eyes.I felt as though there were two things standing in the way of me and my boys.One was that they did not look at me and the other is they did not talk.( I will write on that next weekJ) If they would just look at me….and talk to me….ahhh,my heart would be in such a better …

Dynamic compared to Static Intelligence

Our guest author this week, Sue Simmons, delineates the difference between dynamic and static intelligence in an everyday meaningful kind of way. Learn how you can apply some simple RDI principles to help foster more dynamic thinking in your family.   www.rdiconnect.com

It takes only a glimpse of today's world to realize that we are living in unprecedented times. We flip from answering our cell phones, to sending email to friends, to writing to-do lists at lightning speed. Our minds can barely keep up with the demands of our fast-paced world - this requires us to be able to think in a truly "dynamic" fashion.
Consider how incredible our brains are - imagine sitting on a beach, gazing at breathtaking scenery (ahhh). As you gaze at the sparkling water and sink back into your chair, you notice the soft breeze against your arms. Where does your mind go? If you're like most of us, your thoughts wander. As you look around at the people in your midst, you wonde…

The RDI program and its effectiveness for our children

A brief introduction to Relationship Development Intervention®

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) is based upon research in developmental psychology and the developmental psychopathology of autism spectrum disorders. The specific focus of RDI is to create a ‘guided participation’ relationship with caregivers, through which children develop competence in handling gradually more complex environments. The programme involves supporting families and caregivers/school staff in their roles as participant guides, creating daily opportunities for adaptive and thoughtful responding in the face of novel and increasingly unpredictable settings and unexpected change. Through participation in caregiver-guided continually more complex cycles of regulation, challenge and new regulation, the aim is for individuals on the autism spectrum to learn not only to tolerate, but also to enjoy changes and transitions.

The RDI Program focuses on developing:
· an appropriate mix of verbal and non-verb…