RDI® is a parent based intervention program founded on over 20 years of research by Dr Steven E. Gutstein, phD of the Connections Center in Houston, Texas. It is a developmental, systematic approach in which parents are provided the tools to effectively remediate the core deficits of autism and thereby improve the long term quality of life for the individual with ASD.
The Core Deficits of Autism
Lack of emotional referencing: the inability to borrow another’s perspective to check for approval, share enjoyment or accept guidance in uncertain situations.
Difficulty with communication that involves the sharing of personal experiences with others: may be able to communicate wants and needs but struggles with sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions.
Decreased ability to co-regulate: finds the participation in back and forth communicative exchanges, such as conversations or interactive play, to be very difficult or even impossible.
Poor formation of episodic memory: can memorize facts and rules but struggles with remembering positive feelings and thoughts associated with shared experiences.
Little ability to think dynamically: Possesses ability to think and learn in static ways (rote learning, memorization of facts and rules) but finds dynamic thinking (the thinking required to interact in a constantly changing world) very difficult.
Using a cognitive approach, RDI® addresses the obstacles these core deficits create and thereby changes the way the individual with autism thinks instead of just compensating for the behaviors autism causes.