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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

RDI - Treating ASD or AS or PDD... it's got my attention!!

(43 Posts)
InternationalGirl Sun 17-Apr-05 13:22:04

Hi everyone:
On a recent thread I mentioned Relationship Development Intervention also known as RDI. It appears to be the latest thing for treating autism and those on the spectrum in the U.S. and is spreading out to Canada and Australia too - it's only a matter of time before there are certified consultants in the UK. Sort of like where ABA was a few years ago.

Describing it simply RDI is a parent based treatment method. RDI is more about understanding the autism spectrum and what the difficulties are for people affected focussing on incorporating certain activities into your lifestyle to motivate your child to want to interact and by interacting they are learning. Many of these activities seem to be as you go about your daily business. There also appears to be ‘floor’ activities. It appears to be all about fun and relating and enjoying your child and having the child enjoy you and learn the value of communication and relationships. Appears to be used for people on the wide range of the spectrum from nonverbal young children through to teenagers and adults who have difficulties in relating to others due to aspergers.

They have a chat board which I have lurked on for awhile now and there are a lot of parents saying it is working for them in a way nothing else ever did – we feel like it is something we have to take a better look at. Some of these parents have been using ABA and continue to use ABA in conjunction with RDI. They even have on-line chats with the founders Dr. Steve Gutstein and his colleague Dr. Rachelle Sheely.

There are parent seminars and workshops which are now only in the U.S and Australia I think unfortunately – but it’s only a matter time before they are here in the UK. I am acquainted with a SENCO here in the UK (unfortunately not the SENCO at my dd’s school) who went to the professionals seminars in the U.S. and came back raving about RDI saying how a lot of what they said just made so much sense. It really looks like Dr. Gutstein has done his homework.

From the looks of it the family use the treatment methods themselves within the home and their general life and those who are fully using it regularly check in with consultants for guidance either by going to meetings or communicating via email or phone if they are long distance. Downside is that it can cost a bit of money to get started (i.e. attending seminars/workshops etc especially if they are not local to you). Long term being able to treat our daughter ourselves will make it easier being international and not having to hunt down therapists every time we move. We are going to start with the DVD “Going to the Heart of Autism” and the books “RDI Social and Emotional Activities for Children, Teenagers and Adults…”. Will let you know when I get it and what I think.

I really recommend having a look at the RDI website rdiconnect.com - I spend hours on there hunting down the chats, testimonials and children’s stories to see real life account of what people think. You can also get signed up to receive their regular newsletters by email.

Near the bottom of the main page there a link to the “DVD Release Notes” which gives you an idea of what the program is about. It will explain it better than I could. Like I say I have found it interesting and we are taking a look at it.

I know this has turned out to be quite long but we are a group who share and being so new many may not have heard about RDI. It may not be suitable for everyone but IMO definitely worth a look and deciding for yourselves.

Jimjams Sun 17-Apr-05 15:57:31

I've had a look- thought it looked really interesting although not quite sure how it works- and all the kids on the videos so far have been much higher functioning than ds1. Having said that, and having watched the difference in development between ds1 and ds2 I thought it made sense though, and ds3- 3 months old and he already uses me as a reference (which I realise now is why I'm so sure he's OK).

Thought the idea of a daily photo diary was really good- they doo that at school and I've decided to start that here as well.

I've signed up for newsletters and I've joined one of the groups. I like the idea of it being a lifestyle that you can use in every day rather than having separate sessions as such. I'm very interested, although still not entirely sure what its all about. Please point me in any interesting directions. I thought about starting with the young child book ( can get it from jessica kinglsey in the UK) and then getting the dvd maybe after reading more and deciding whether its for us. I did find something on the website that said they would come to the UK if there was enough interest. I would go to a workshop I think.

Will be looking at the website more over the next few days (was also impressed how much they let you access for FREE!)

Davros Sun 17-Apr-05 19:12:16

Have you looked at RDI on ABA-UK? Sharon Bradbrook-Armit is very knowledgeable and has set up a Yahoo EGroup for it. She has a Consultant here I think and has been to the USA for training. You may recognise Sharon's name as she edits Speach, the newsletter from Peach. I'm a bit unconvinced and certainly for DS but think it may be good for "hf" kids and those who may be a bit older or somewhat beyond ABA. I first heard about it on the ME-List and, at first it seemed complementary to ABA but then started to be anti-ABA......

RnB Sun 17-Apr-05 19:37:33

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Blossomhill Sun 17-Apr-05 20:17:43

Oh how exciting RnB. You will have to let us know how it all goes

InternationalGirl Sun 17-Apr-05 21:29:26

Davros - they say it's also used with nonverbal kids as communication is not just verbal language. I'll have to see what Sharon on ABA-UK has to say - I did notice she had gone to the parent seminar a few months back.

RnB - how exciting.. and you didn't tell us - shame! How have you found working the exercises? This is probably what we are going to have to do for some time - may get to a course but probably not for a couple of years as we'll be stuck in South Africa (unless, of course, it makes it down there before we leave) then we'll definitely go. Have you seen much progress? The method and background behind it just all seems to make sense.

I agree ABA has seen amazing results but RDI just seems to hit on something else our kids are missing that ABA doesn't really address.

Cant wait to hear about the parent seminar in Montreal!! You lucky **!! Now I really want to see you for a meet up in Brighton - when's good for you? Any Saturday is good for us.

BH - you said you were going to CAT - haven't seen anything yet - maybe I should try to CAT you - will try tomorrow night if I haven't seen anything before then.

Davros Sun 17-Apr-05 22:09:27

I can't remember so I'm asking this genuinely, what evidence do they give for its effectiveness? Otherwise you may as well look at Greenspan or Options.

Jimjams Sun 17-Apr-05 23:12:48

They've measured children's scores on the ADOS (?? is that right) scale before and after doing the programme for 18 months, and compared with controls who were doing other forms of intervention. The data is limited, but looks interesting. It's on their website- and they are continuing to analyse.

They do say that non-verbal kids should use other methods as well. I had a quick look at one of their games- they have to throw beanbags at the child who is meant to try and dodge them- but I don't really understand ho ds1 would understand to dodge them- perhaps it is more of higher functioning kids. I've ordered the young children's book from jessica kinglsey anyway.

Davros Sun 17-Apr-05 23:19:14

So, that sounds like Options and/or Greenspan to me. I've looked at their website ages ago, I'll have another look.

Jimjams Mon 18-Apr-05 09:24:24

They say its different from options because they are adult led, not child led as in options. I got the impression from the website that they were more ABA orientated than options. They talk about difficulties transitioning from son rise etc to rdi- because of establishing some sort of parent led apparoach I guess. I think for children like ours they would see themselves as an add on to other interventions. Although a lot of the activities I've seen would be too hard for ds1 too understand. (although I think I've veiwed level 1 and level 2 activities- and I think there's a level 0) Will let you know when I get the book!

RnB Mon 18-Apr-05 13:42:07

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Davros Mon 18-Apr-05 17:43:49

Yes but ABA has a huge body of research and evidence behind it. I'm not just talking about what we recognise as ABA as a home prog for children with SN. I could give you a list as long as my arm of research into the effectiveness of ABA, whatever people might think or their prejudices. As you know, I'm not into anecdotal evidence unless its backed up with some proper academic work too. I'm not saying it isn't suitable or effective for some children at a certain stage but I would hate to see people thinnking it compares to ABA as an early teaching program.

RnB Mon 18-Apr-05 17:59:18

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Davros Mon 18-Apr-05 18:04:30

And it will be years before we get any real idea of how or if it works and, if so, why. I'm not against either Greenspan or Options as nice ways to help parents behave with their children and to help them feel more connected to them as individuals but as a full program and a serious teaching method...... The BBC documentary on Options that was shown some years ago clearly showed a level parent/tutor-led interactions and even some basic ABA methods (if the child wanted a book, it was put out of his reach and he had to ask for it). So they do use limited ABA but they don't admit it.

Davros Mon 18-Apr-05 18:22:01

Look at the other thread I started.... you can see I'm in a bad mood

Jimjams Mon 18-Apr-05 19:01:38

Davros - I don't think RDI are claiming that it should replace ABA for children like ours. It definitely says on the website that it should NOT be the only therapy for a non verbal child. That warmed me to them- they weren't claiming too much.

I like the idea of doing the lifestyle bit and just using the odd 10 mins as a teaching opportunity to encourage social referencing (one of the biggest differences I noticed between ds1 and ds2) and if it can stop ds1 trying to control everyone in the house- and follow us instead then great.

Still think it may require more copying than ds1 is capable of though.

Davros Mon 18-Apr-05 19:03:16

I was wondering how you are doing with copying after seeing that old ABA thread. Your Ds does seem to have developed some language though and good understanding of schedules etc.
I will look at the RDI website again, promise!

Jimjams Mon 18-Apr-05 19:37:37

he does copy as well- but not subtl iyswim. .

anyway I have a feeling another few hours of screaming is starting- dh came home which has started the wanting to walk around outside in the street performing elaborate routines obsession has kicked in. Has a bruise in his forehead from headbanging the TV. Not sure whether to lnk it to the breadcrumb coated cauliflower grill he had 3 days ago. He doesn't usually headbang - bit then he doesn't usually have that big a meltdown.

Off topic. But am trying to ignore the screaming.... desperately.

Davros Thu 21-Apr-05 20:43:15

Have you all seen this ?

TheRealMrsF Thu 21-Apr-05 21:01:22

Purely on what u have said on this thread...and i am about to explore their website....but i really think that this sounds perfect for my boys....as you know they are all so verbal (so much i hate to say it drives me mad!!!!) and also very achademically able..... so main areas we have probs with is 'exactly HOW/WHEN they communicate'....and social skills....

then theres alex who tho not DX'd he may be AS???? or simply a sibling of AS brothers....but whatever he is his behaviour is getting harder to manage and our home is getting vey hostile.

this RDI would bring at worst a 'positive' vibe in to our home..... and at best 'help' my boys.

also being that i believe both DH and I are a bit AS too....something for the whole family like this would probably improve us no end.....

RnB Fri 22-Apr-05 10:36:25

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RnB Fri 22-Apr-05 10:36:50

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Davros Fri 22-Apr-05 11:26:22

RnB, I hope the prospect of your RDI training is something to look forward to, given your other thread I think it sounds very good for certain kids/families and Sharon, the UK guru (would make her laugh to hear that), is someone I really respect, she is a fantastic person and always looks good, grrr Have you talked to her RnB? She is so great about helping people out, I'm sure it'd make you feel good to talk to her. CAT me if you want her phone number, I'd check with her first of course. You may already know her anyway for all I know.
MrsF, I reckon RDI sounds good for your gang too. I feel another MasterClass coming on, joint one with you and RnB..... with plenary sessions for laminating run by me and Coppertop!

TheRealMrsF Fri 22-Apr-05 14:47:27

RnB cab be my RDI TUTOR!!!!!! !!!!!!!!

we could do a t.v show!!!!!

( i could add it to the other programmes i've taped on the video i promised you!!!!)

RnB Fri 22-Apr-05 14:51:07

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