We are excited for the way our professional training program is expanding over world. The following is an update from Maisie Soetantyo on the recent professional training course in Hong Kong.
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Last week we completed our second South East Asia RDI Certification Training with nine outstanding trainees from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hang Zhou, Shanghai, Malaysia, and finally, our first CIT from the Philippines! Six of these CITs came to the training with a particularly strong sense of commitment because they are veteran RDI parents who have seen first hand the transformation that RDI brought to their families.
The new hybrid RDI training model combines a weekly series of online sessions prior to attending a 5 day in-person classroom training, followed by long distance case supervision. Instead of teaching a long list of skills in class, the online sessions allowed the trainees to learn the foundations of dynamic intelligence development, the core deficits of ASD, the assessment process and RDI Learning System navigation in small increments. The active discussions with peers and collaborative assignments helped the trainees to understand important RDI program elements, and prepare themselves before attending the face to face class.
From the moment we introduced ourselves in our first online session, there was an instant connection within this group. Each trainee contributed by sharing his/her unique perspectives on the Autism culture in their country, as well as guided participation stories. Each provided vivid illustrations about how they learned to make dumplings, play a guitar, use a computer software, sew and many other life skills. As we watched these video clips, each story was clearly special to the individual and left a lasting personal imprint.
Arriving in Hong Kong was very exciting for us! We stayed at the same hotel, walked to class, went sightseeing and shared our meals together daily. The local Hong Kong trainees were our guides, taking care and showing the rest how to best explore this unique country. Each day we went over a little bit of everything; the RDI theoretical foundations, the assessment process, parent readiness objectives, handling obstacles, navigating the learning system, writing assignments and many more subjects. We utilized discussions, video analysis, group assignments and a variety of hands-on activities. For example, we had Tai Chi and balloon-blowing lessons, which showed how a guide could thoughtfully simplify a complex activity for an apprentice in a meaningful way. We were also able to practice the activities we had framed for our two guests; 21 and 5 year old apprentices. This process helped us to see how universal the guide-apprentice relationship is, and that with effective guidance, nothing is impossible for people with ASD.
As a group we formed two and five year mission previews for our RDI journey. We wanted to reach at least 1000 families in this region through the new RDI FaceBook group we set up during the training, as well as through frequent parent and professional presentations. Our long term goal is to successfully bring more 4-Day RDI Parent Trainings to this part of the world. This group has become friends for life, and they have vowed to use their individual strength to support one another!
What was our pearl of wisdom from last week? The Chinese believed in ‘Ying’ and ‘Yang’ which means ‘balance’. Balance in our personal and professional lives, all equally important even when we think about each family we are going to work with. The Hong Kong trainees are just beginning their RDI journey, and for all of them this is an exciting, emotional and personal quest. Take a look at this video clip, put together on our last day of training, describing what RDI means in 6 languages.
Maisie Soetantyo has been providing RDI supervision and training for families in California and South East Asia. She firmly believes that through daily mindful engagements parents can make a difference in their special needs children’s long term outcome. Maisie and her husband, Pete Dunlavey, are both seasoned certified RDI consultants who run “RDI Certification Training Programs’ for professionals in South East Asia and ‘Destination 4 Day RDI Parent Trainings’ all over the world. To learn more about RDI program, visit: www.RDIConnect.com. For additional questions or comments about this article, contact Maisie at: firstname.lastname@example.org