Monday, October 9, 2017

Parent training...what it is...what it should be

I have met a few families recently,  and while I was doing an assessment for one of them, we were talking about parent training.  They told me that they had been through parent training…and from what they read about RDI they see that it is also parent training, so they wanted to know what would be the differences
I figured I would write a blog post to those interested in RDI…but not sure the component of Parent training and how that fits into your lifestyle.
Its true,  RDI is huge on parent education…but it’s with a twist.  This twist is what is unique. We are not looking at instructing parents what to do when behavior XY and Z happens.  Now of course we have strategies as compensations for those behaviors…but with RDI’s parent education, we look past the symptom of a behavior. 
The purpose of RDI education/training is not because we feel like you need training on how to be a parent/mom/dad..  You are your child’s biggest advocate and you know your child the best!  How I see it, it is more of an imparting how I think about Autism, to you.  It’s a shift of mindset in the why of the outward behaviors, to what is going on, whether it be lack of child apprenticeship, lack of experience sharing/sharing others perspectives, and using hindsight and foresight together to make sense of the world through experiences.  Just think for a moment what your day to day would be like if you could not reach back into your past experiences to make any decisions, present or future.  It would all be very scary…and anxiety would definitely be a behavior that would be a symptom of this.  No wonder kids with ASD want to keep everything the same!!  That uncertainty is hard to understand when you cannot reach back and remember previous successful times and experiences.
So our Parent Education is more about defining what Autism actually is,  getting to the core obstacles it presents, and not just putting a bandaid on teaching behavior management. This leaves much more space for authentic interactions where you and your child can enjoy the time together!

For more information on RDI, visit

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Father's Reflections


As I finished booking the hotel room for my father’s day adventure with my kids, I remember many years ago ( 10+ years) It was not an easy task to have the day run smoothly.  There are a lot of unknowns in the mountains…  and you definitely need think dynamically as even the best made plans unfold differently than anticipated.  This is what makes time together an adventure!  This is what I have worked on with my son through the years of RDI!  Now that he is a teenager, our trips together with the rest of  my kids are exciting as we all love to explore.  The love for NEW adventures has helped Jesse become an experience seeker.  He takes those competent experiences with the unknowns of the past and how he reflects on resilience ( hindsight), and has been able to apply all that dynamic information to know how to handle the present and future ( foresight).  That is a fancy way of saying, he is flexible with how the experiences unfold and actually wants variations and to try new things.  I am thankful for this because while we first initally focused on a skill based program when he was 2 and 3 years old,  we quickly realized this was not going to get him where he needed to be in the long term.  Our mission statements that both me and my wife made for Jesse looking into his future, we realized we wanted him to excel at problem solving and understanding the why of relationships ( the joy of doing something with another person as the important part instead of seeing a person as always trying to get him to do something or perform).

What we have done through RDI has and continues to prepare Jesse for adulthood, as through the years the adventures naturally and intuitively worked on what experiences to spotlight and save for himself to develop and thrive in his thinking.

To my fellows RDI dads or those interested in started…  celebrate your success as each moment you create a deeper understanding of relationships and why adventures in life are exciting.  If you are just starting out or are a veteran Dad…the payoff of focusing on Dynamic Intelligence is incredibly worth it!

Dave Darrow