Showing posts from March, 2011

RDI in school

RDI is an intervention that addresses dynamic intelligence ( Theory of mind) in our children.   For school age children, being able to take on perspective, understand critical thinking, emotionally regulate with another person, and reflect on their surroundings is crucial.   If our children were not given this opportunity before 5 years old, it is never too late to lay the foundation for Dynamic thinking and improve a child’s quality of life and social understanding. Below is a chart that outlines static and dynamic intelligence.   Static thinking is what you know. For example, formulas, procedures (like following a recipe), memorized information (like multiplication tables), habits and routine.   You will note that much of the static column is what comes easier for our children because of the effects of Autism on their neurology.   The Dynamic column is what so many of our children struggle with.   Dynamic thinking involves flexible thinking, experience sharing communication, app

Tips for Relationship Development Intervention

Tips for RDI   Part one - 3 beginning tips to keep in mind while you are waiting to start a complete RDI program with your child-   I welcome any questions you may have about a particular situation in your family and how to help foster mindfulness!   1         Slow down your actions with your child.   Give him /her time to think about what comes next…and if they don’t know what comes next, your pause will help your child to look at you to to try and understand.   As parents, we sometimes anticipate what our kids need and don’t give them a chance to seek out our interaction for that joint attention.   Or we are told to prompt them in the activity to the point where the child has no point other then following directions. There was nothing better than the first time my own son looked at me for information because I paused in our activity and did not compensate for him.   He had to reference my face for more information.   Keep in mind in the beginning of this process I counted in my head

Obstacles to remediation

Within RDI,   there is a planning stage for the family after the assessment.   This gives the consultant and family an opportunity to see the obstacles in their own child’s static thinking.   We review these ( This is not an exhaustive list but the main obstacles) and mark all that apply.   After that we decide the three top priorities to begin with in the program! They are as follows-   Respecting limits and boundaries Behavioral self regulation Limited emotional response ( Anhedonia) Emotional regulation problems ( Meltdowns) Frustration tolerance Opposition and defiance Aggressive/Violent?Threatening/Risk taking Anxiety Attachment Attention engagement and/or Maintenance Controlling Drowsy/Low Energy Hyperactive-   in constant motion Obsessive focus Rigid /inflexible Inappropriate, annoying language use Limited or absent motivation Non communicative Passive/ Prompt dependant Poor body tone- rigid or floppy …………….continued to more unique obstacles Kathy Darrow- RDI Certified Professi


Yes, RDI works on developmental milestones for theory of mind.  This is crucial for our children to understand friendships in their life.  Babies begin to learn about friendship as they learn to borrow their caregivers perspective...they learn that they have thoughts and the person they are interacting with also has thoughts that may be the same or different then theirs.  We must fill in these missing functions with our children incrementally so their ability to understand their social world, which includes understanding collaberation, mutual enjoyment, empathy and common trust can emerge. This portion is from an article by Dr Gutstein on Adolescent friendship Friendship levels The six levels of friendship We often use the term friendship without defining what kind of relationship we are talking about.We refer to friendships as if they were all alike – as if the relationship of two 4-year-olds is no different than two 16-year-olds. In reality friendship changes dramatical

Relationship Development Intervention- what does it look like?

  RDI looks at the thinking in any interaction.   Think about yourself.  What are your memories of childhood?  Some of them involve memories of friendships and good times.  We dont necessarily remember what we did but moreso the shared experience!  For our kids, since they are struggling with being very static( Rule based/instrumental) in their thinking, rule based skills are easily taught through behavioral modification.  Unfortunately, This just increases their static thinking.  At first, as they accumulate skills we as parents are thrilled.  With me, it took me about a year to realize no amount of skills was going to transfer to being able to share perspectives with others or theory of mind.  This is why it is common to hear parents echo,  "my son has a straight A average or is on the honor roll,  but cannot make a friend"  II cover friendships in the next blog.  To remedy this,  I turned with my own children to RDI as I realized that I needed to built my sons social and e

What is RDI ( Relationship Development Intervention)

  We know Autism is caused by the lack of networking within the brain.   There are numerous causes for this ( regressive/infantile Autism) so each child is unique!!  Because of this lack of dynamic networking,  our kids become very static thinkers-   where they do not like change and they want to control everything in their world to prevent any change in their environment.   This is why some children are very rigid.      When my son was just alittle over 1 year old I knew he had Autism because first of all I had a older son with Autism but among many other clues,   he would start crying in his carseat when I took a different way home.   If I went straight instead of turning..any variation that was against what he thought I should be doing.   RDI is an Autism Intervention that targets Dynamic thinking ( theory of mind, perspective taking, intersubjectivity).  RDI acknowledges this static wiring in our kids brain and believes a vital role to help our children is to create in them th