Is anyone familiar with RDI therapy or relationship development intervention?

Alicia - posted on 08/14/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi,

I'm considering a new form of therapy for my almost three year old autistic son. We are on track for intensive early interventionbehavioural therapy (a combination of ABA, Floor time and discrete trial). He is due to start in september. It's 25 hours a week of one on one plus weekly team/family meetings. His OT mentioned another form of therapy called RDI or relationship development intervention. I've looked into it and the main differences seem to be more parent training and involvment which I think is good and a real focus on increasing adaptability and teaching the nuances of human interaction by reteaching the brain to process social information in a more typical way. Do any of you have any experience with this type of therapy? It sounds appealing but I don't know anyone who has used it. It isn't as mainstream as what we already have lined up for him. It sounds like something we could do in conjunction with the IEBT but it's a huge time and financial commitment on my and Adam's part. I would just love to have some feedback before we commit. Totally willing to give the time just want to find out if it lives up to it's promise first.



Thanks,

Alicia

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Rachael - posted on 08/17/2009

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Hi Alicia,

Back in those days ABA was done at a table with the poor kid sitting there for hours. I think nowdays there is more play and it feels less like work for the child. I never did more than 3 hours a day as my son also was part time at kindergarten and I didn't want to overload him He also did one hour of speech therapy and one hour of OT a week. I did come up with a lot of my own social skills stuff (my book "Playing it Right" is on Amazon) because in those days I could't find appropriate programs. The RDI was more fun and games and I didn't consider it work. Personally if someone tells you your child needs 30 hours therapy per week I would query it. Autism is a marathon not a sprint and while the earlier you intervene the better, kids learn their whole lives! I'll get off my soap box now. Good luck. And don't worry...whatever you decide we all feel guilty!!!! xox

Alicia - posted on 08/16/2009

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Wow that is so sweet and flattering. Tell him thank you for me. You just made my night :) Thanks as well for the advise. How many hours a week did you have your son working? I'm concerned about overloading Liam too but don't want to do too little. I just keep thinking we should do everything we can but he deserves a childhood too.

Uggg these are such tough decisions.

Rachael - posted on 08/15/2009

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Hi Alicia,



Way back in 2003 I think I got the RDI book and started doing some of the activities with my son. I have to say it really strengthened our relationship, greatly improved eye contact and made him far more aware of my emotions. The games were really fun and it didn't feel like work for him. Not sure if he generalised it to other people! I think you are right to have a variety of approaches. RDI was a good addition to ABA. Just make sure you aren't overloading your little one too much...think about how many hours a normal 3 year old could concentrate in one week? I have a bit of guilt over how much intervention I did. I think I overloaded the poor kid!!



Hope this helps Rachael



By the way, my son just walked past and saw your photo and asked "Who is that beautiful lady?".

Alicia - posted on 08/14/2009

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did you hear things from people who had been through the program or just during your research? I can't find anyone who has actually used it so I;m just curious if the person who was positive about it is some one you know and trust?

Awdanis - posted on 08/14/2009

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I have heard positive things about RDI, but never went through with it because of time issues. It looks like a good program.

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