What is RDI?
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), created by Steven E. Gutstein, Ph. D. and Rachelle K. Shelly, Ph. D., uses contemporary research to identify accurately the underlying neurological deficits that produce Autism. Using this research, RDI provides parents, for the very first time, with the knowledge and skills necessary to remediate these deficits.
Previous research and treatment of autism has focused on co-occurring and/or peripheral conditions (e.g., speech delays, sensory problems, emotional regulation deficits, self-help skills, and repetitive behaviors). Furthermore, the treatment of autism has been delegated to professionals and para-professionals, leaving parents out of the treatment “loop.” Despite thousands of hours of therapy spanning years of a child’s life, the vast majority of parents do not feel competent in raising their autistic child.
RDI relies on the most recent research on emotional, cognitive and social development to create a logical and systematic treatment program that allows parents to feel competent while playing a central role in repairing the neurological deficits that produce autism. Research shows that the deficits of the autistic child are caused by impairment in the communication between different parts of the brain, specifically the executive center and the emotional center (pre-frontal cortex and limbic system). RDI actually works to establish a connection, a “super highway,” that serves to remediate the core deficits of autism.
What Are the Advantages of the RDI Program?
- Dramatic reduction in therapy sessions
- Dramatic reduction in cost of treatment
- Comprehensive and accurate evaluation
- Research-based understanding of the core deficits of autism
- The empowerment of parents to remediate the core deficits of autism
- Restores parent’s ability to feel confident as guide/master
- Establishes the child’s capacity to learn in the role of an apprentice
- Simplifies the daily life of the autistic child
- Focus on enhancing the autistic child’s quality of life
- Creation of meaningful and satisfying family lifestyle
- Effective throughout life cycle
Phases of RDI Treatment
- Introductory meeting: preview of RDI process
- RDI Clinical Contract Review of previous evaluations
- Review of medical history
- Review of 20-minute video tape (home-based activity with child and parent)
- Review of child’s daily schedule
- Readiness and Committment
- Guided Participation
Relationship Development Assessment