An Introduction to RDI®

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) offers programs for individuals on the autism spectrum, or other developmental difficulties. It is often described as “the missing element” in the treatment of autism because instead of focusing on symptoms, our program works to activate the growth-seeking drive essential to addressing the challenges associated with autism.

RDI®  programs teach parents how to guide their child to seek out and succeed in truly reciprocal relationships, while addressing key core issues such as motivation, communication, emotional regulation, episodic memory, rapid attention-shifting, self-awareness, appraisal, executive functioning, flexible thinking and creative problem solving. 

A Developmental Approach

RDI® is a next generation approach to autism and developmental disability intervention that is based on the latest scientific research into the human brain. All brains, including those of people with developmental disabilities, can adapt and learn to function in a “normal” way because the brain is capable of adapting to any challenge; It just needs the right guidance. However, the brain will only grow and adapt if it is challenged to do so.

Not a ‘Therapy”

RDI® is a significant departure from traditional autism interventions, and does not simply seek to mask the condition with scripted conversations or rehearsed behaviors. Our model allows for neuro-cognitive changes to occur over time that provide the individual with the skills needed to navigate life’s challenges on their own. By developing this capacity for dynamic thinking, we open the door to the possibility of a greater quality of life that includes: reciprocal communication, genuine friendships, confident, independent living, prolonged relationships and meaningful employment


RDI® includes an intensive parent training component designed for both parents’ involvement from the beginning and real life coaching that takes place in the home setting with the whole family. The goal isn’t to turn family members into therapists, but rather to guide them to develop new ways of thinking, perceiving and acting to know how to best use their precious time in facilitating the child’s mental growth. The program embraces the premise that every family member is critical to success. A trained RDI® Consultant works with each family to develop an individualized set of objectives that may include simplifying the home environment, slowing down the pace of life, balancing the entire family’s schedule and life outside of a special needs diagnosis. The RDI® program believes that making lasting, meaningful and lifelong changes begins at home with the child’s parents first, and that the remediation process should take place amidst each family’s unique culture and relationships.

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