by | Apr 1, 2016 | RDI Stories

This family story was written by RDI® veteran parent Di Maitland. To read the original article, go here

P1060220Outings and RDI®

On the spur of the moment I took Nick down to the local café for a milkshake. We are regular faces there and everyone is incredibly friendly and accommodating. The waiters are mindful about waiting for Nick to choose his flavour of the moment and even go so far as to bring extra serviettes without being asked.

We have a number of regular places that we visit and the staff generally go out of their way to assist. During a visit to the supermarket, the checkout lady mentioned how much Nick has grown. I was surprised to learn that she has seen him many times over the years and recalls him as a small boy. My bad… I didn’t recognise her!

Recently we headed down to a beachfront café and I was astounded to be greeted, “Hello Di,” by a waiter who I hadn’t seen for at least two years. He saw Nick and came over to check if it really was ‘us’. I could have hugged him!

As Nick has become more flexible about visiting new places, we are always keen to expand our horizons. In the early days, I used to get such a knot in my tummy just thinking about introducing any form of change. However, these days, we just go with the flow and all feelings of nervousness have gone (for both me and Nick).

Thank you, RDI®, for giving us the confidence to spread our wings.


  1. Di O'Brien

    I have a potential family with a 15 year old son who is ASD and ID.
    The Mother claims that he has no interests. He has outdoor riding equipment and a variety of indoor play equipment. He has very little task commitment. He is non-verbal. When he needs help he does not approach her. Instead he punches his head and screams.
    Unfortunately, last year, while at a camp, he was put on a roller coaster against his wishes. Since then he afraid to go on public transport or on outings. I would appreciate suggestions.

  2. Rachelle Sheely

    HI Di
    What a terrible story! One asks how anybody could do such a terrible thing to a child-I’ll stop ranting.

    In my experience, that this young man is 15 is not concerning and I think that if the family is committed to working with him they will begin to see and understand his potential. My suggestion is that you figure out where he is stuck developmentally and start working with him at that point. If he’s dysregulated, help him physically get in synch with his parents. They might decide to walk with him, making slight variations in tempo or stride–help him get the feeling of being with them. It would counter what they want to achieve if they pushed, commanded or went to quickly. If you can get him better regulated you may see that there is comorbidity that needs to be addressed. I wouldn’t push outings until he feels himself aligned with his parents and more trusting of their ability to keep him “safe”. If you’d like for us to put our heads together, I would enjoy helping you think about him. There aren’t easy answers but there are always answers. Best to you sheely@rdiconnect.com

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