When working with a family, its not uncommon that parents will ask me, "how do I "get" my child to do this, or that. The entire relationship between the parents and child becomes focused on skill acquision. While this may help check the boxes off in skills, what it neglects is helping a child to see the world through relationships...through first their parents eyes. This sense of self is the foundation for those thinking skills that are intuitive. When a child can reflect on past experiences in their own mind rather than an adult prompt, this memory encodes for future decisions and experiences. Its the collaborative moments that give our kids competence, which is WHY RDI focuses on the experience of the interaction and not the task of completion. This competence comes from developing a sense of self... being able to pull from your past an experience that is simular to a current situation, and being able to navigate through because of this reflection. At the very core, an infant who touches a hot stove encodes that this is something they dont want to repeat. Those of us not on the spectrum do this effortlessly. Those on the spectrum struggle with this hindsight, and foresight and how to use it in their life. Imagine for a moment if you couldnt think about past experiences in an emotional sense... That when you looked at pictures you saw information and not experiences. For example, we all relive our vacations through video and pictures. While we watch we smile, laugh, and it brings us back to those moments. This is our sense of self... and why many on the spectrum will look at pictures, even if they are in the picture they will label the "facts" of what is happening or the items in the picture.
Below Dr Sheely explains why the sense of self is so important, and why we need to continue to be diligent to change the narrative... Skills arent bad, but with out a sense of self, a child stalls within their understanding. I hear this all the time as parents of tweens and older call me. Social skills work on trying to help a child with communication with adults and peers...but without a healthy sense of self each skill needs to be taught in isolation and then generalization is difficult.
Do you feel as though you are doing all the thinking for your child? They dont do alot without being prompted? Or every day they have the same behaviors, make the same errors, or want the day to have as little variations in it as possible. They are only seeing the world thru their eyes!
Lets get them back on track together through RDI!