Exciting research is now emerging that favors relationship based brain development approaches such as Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)®. RDI® helps clients (particularly children) develop cognitive and social learning beginning at the foundation. This results in genuine social development, not compensations and splinter skills.
The combination of RDI® training and occupational therapy means that in addition to general O.T. training, Rosanne has received extensive training in child development, dynamic intelligence, episodic memory and coaching strategies to help parents to be the best teachers for their child.
What is Relationship Development Intervention®?
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) is a program for educating and coaching parents/caregivers of children with brain based social problems such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attachment disorders, alcohol related neurological disorders (ARND). The goal of RDI® is to provide new learning experiences for people with social disabilities that have prevented them from enjoying productive employment, independent living, marriage and intimate social relationships.
Research is growing in the area of the social/emotional brain and has identified many core problems. Some of these problems can be described as a lack of “dynamic intelligence” or not being able to “think on your feet”. Dynamic intelligence is what helps typical children to make it through day-to-day life. The RDI® program is a gradual, step-by-step process of retraining thinking to the point where it no longer stops children or teenagers from reaching their potential.
Although the RDI® consultant is the expert on child development, RDI® gives the power back to families and caregivers who are the experts on their child. It helps parents to feel more confident by creating daily moments to teach the child how to be flexible, thoughtful, resilient, and, best of all… loving. While under a RDI® consultant’s guidance, the entire family system is observed, and parents are gently coached to focus on family by slowing down, letting go of crisis, and making their lives simpler. This model enriches the lives of all family members, and creates a stronger parent-child relationship. Over time, the child develops the ability to be part of real give-and-take relationships with their parents, siblings and eventually their friends!
In the RDI® program, parents are themselves guided by a RDI® Program Certified Consultant, trained extensively under psychologists Dr. Steven Gutstein and Dr. Rachelle Sheely at the Connections Center in Houston, Texas.
In Manitoba, RDI® is not yet covered by Manitoba Health although the costs are tax deductible as an occupational therapy medical expense. Also, some clients may have occupational therapy coverage through their individual/family health care plans.
Commonly heard RDI® Myths;
1. “RDI® is not evidence based”
The RDI® program is based upon 1,000’s of research papers including brain development, education, child development, autism, attachment, memory, etc. It fits for families wanting a family centred focus and for clinicians that have experienced a wide variety of social emotional treatment approaches but are not completely satisfied with the results. There are currently many studies based on RDI® including one from The Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Relate Program, here in Winnipeg, MB.
2. “RDI® is for high functioning children”
RDI® is for all ages of individuals (pre-school, school age, teen, adult) and for all levels of disability. Because it is a detailed developmental curriculum that fills in the developmental “gaps”, improvement is seen for all types of individuals, although progress may be limited by the person’s neurological system.