Guiding Relationship

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Why RDI® Emphasizes the Guiding Relationship

When infants who go on to be diagnosed with autism do not contribute sufficient energy to their relationship, parents, no matter how motivated or proficient they are, are unable to guide and their relationship cannot develop in a normal manner. The Guiding Relationship helps a child develop the tools that will carry them through their life. RDI® helps to re-establish this relationship.

Entertaining Your Autistic Child

It’s the ‘easiest’ way to live with your child in the short term. You take him out and do the things he likes as you try to avoid him stimming, nagging or even throwing tantrums. Life then develops a pattern, where any time parent and child have together is spent doing entertaining activities because the child is ‘happy’ and it causes less conflict. But take a minute to ask yourself: “What is my child is getting out of these experiences?”

Partnering with Your Child

For some parents, a partnership – where both parties have authentic roles in a meaningful task, activity, or project – with their child may come naturally, for others, it may feel challenging at first. I encourage you to partner with your child at least 10 times per day, everyday. It will get easier and you can start out small and always build on your successes in length of time you are partnering or ways in which you partner.

The Roles of Mom and Dad in RDI®

As an RDI® consultant in Asia, specifically Indonesia, I see a lot of dads struggling in the beginning of the program because of the cultural beliefs that influence family life and interpersonal relationship. Even though things have changed so much in the younger generation, in many traditional Asian families the father’s role is primarily to provide material support for the family, while the mother’s role is primarily to take care of the children. The father does not usually start a conversation with his children. He tends to be distant. As a result, dad has difficulties learning how to play, have casual conversation and build close relationships with his child; this becomes even more challenging when they have a child with special conditions.

Meet Your Kids Where They Are

Children have good days and bad days, just like the rest of us. Variability is a normal part of the human experience. Just because your child could do it yesterday doesn’t mean he can do it today. We all have good days and bad days. So does your child.


I want to be present in my life. I want to actually experience it, the good and even the bad. I want to learn and not repeat mistakes. I want to actually be a part of the good things that happen, really being in it and really feeling the feels. This is a mindset known as mindfulness.

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