RDI® for Adults and Teens
Adults & Autism
If you are an adult that was recently diagnosed or a young adult or teen that has “aged out’ of typical autism interventions such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), you may be looking for help. Unfortunately, the conversation around autism, especially in regards to therapies and interventions, seems to stop when a child reaches a certain age, leaving many people on the spectrum without resources to navigate their life in and entering adulthood.
You may feel like you are trying to get around in the world with ‘holes’ in your developmental plan. You don’t know why you are having so much trouble in life but you know something is not quite right.
What type of struggles adults on the spectrum may face?
- Inability to hold a job
- Non-flexible thinking
- Breakdown of relationship
- Extreme black and white thinking patterns
- Extreme stress brought on by the inability to manage their experiences
- Addiction and Substance Abuse
Helping learn how to cope and manage these struggles is not an indication that you are a person unworthy or in need of being ‘changed’, all people can benefit from therapy and a greater understanding of themselves to help them navigate life.
How does RDI help Adults and Teens?
Dynamic intelligence is central to independence and quality of life, and RDI® builds on this perspective. Look at the complex world that you live in, there is much to cope with! Challenges and change are constant in life, but the development of dynamic intelligence gives you the ability to think flexibly and understand different perspectives in life. This can help you cope with change, and to integrate information from multiple sources.
Here are the six areas of dynamic intelligence universal to every person on the autism spectrum. Each help to usher in quality of life and make independence possible:
- Emotional Referencing – The ability to ‘read’ and learn from the emotional experiences of others.
- Social Coordination – The ability to observe others and self-regulate behavior in order to participate in social relationships.
- Declarative Language – The ability to use language and non-verbal language for expression, interaction, and to share feelings and ideas with others.
- Flexible Thinking – The ability to adapt when life’s circumstances change.
- Relational Information Processing – The ability to think situations through, to obtain solutions, when there are no “right or wrong” answers.
- Foresight and Hindsight – The ability to reflect on past experiences and use them as a tool to anticipate potential future scenarios.
More than Skills
There is substantial reason to believe that cognitively higher functioning teens and adults can learn a wide range of sophisticated skills. However, significant obstacles are found when the individual tries to apply these learned skills in real-world, complex, dynamic settings, or when skills must be modified or adapted “on-the- fly” to meet circumstances that were not covered in the training curriculum.
The problem, then, is not learning specific skills per se, but their application in a more dynamic manner, to progressively more complex, “messy”, unpredictable real-world problems and settings. This real life application is incorporated into the Relationship Development Intervention Program’s Dynamic Intelligence curriculum.
Basically, if you understand Dynamic Intelligence and are able to take on your learning, you will be able to become more flexible. This can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that often comes when an individual on the spectrum navigates the neurotypical world.
How to Get Started with RDI®?
We would love to help you when you are ready to start your RDI® program! The best way to get started is by looking for a consultant in your area, or one that offers online services that you can utilize. If you would like to be connected with a consultant that could best help you, you can sign up for a free consultation by clicking here.
Resources for Adults & Teens
We all have different studying and learning styles – audio, visual, and in print. Our success with learning depends largely upon how we reflect on our past experiences with studying, and how we repeat what has worked for us. So, what are the best ways to help your autistic teen to study?
In this episode of Autism: A New Perspective, Kat Lee talks with special guest Dr. Sarah Wayland, an RDI® Certified Consultant and parenting coach, about raising autistic teens, RDI® and navigating high school on the spectrum.
In the last year, we have seen a rise in screen addiction, especially among vulnerable populations, such as teens and children with autism. How can we help?
When you have someone older the parents are often very tired, because they’ve been trying so many things. It’s very difficult for them to dream again.
Autism screening criteria are based on data collected mainly from the studies of autistic boys. Why? Historically, the diagnosis of autism has been more common in boys than girls, so scientists have focused their research on boys–and now girls with autism are being overlooked.
Why do so many autistic adults struggle with finding and keeping a job? The world simply isn’t built for neurodivergent people–but there are things employers can do to remedy that.
Transitioning to Independence: 5 Online Resources to Help Neurodivergent Young Adults Find Jobs & Job Skills
85% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed, yet 60% of them have cognitive abilities at or above those of neurotypical individuals. So what is the problem?
Children with autism often express anxiety and stress like neurotypical individuals, however, autistic children can experience anxiety more intensely and more often than other children which typically prompts a regression in behaviors.
As children with autism grow up and inch closer to adulthood, there are sometimes lingering concerns–What if we didn’t do enough? What if we went in the wrong direction? What if independence isn’t possible?–but growth is possible into adulthood.
Dynamic growth is a key function of dynamic intelligence. With this, your child’s mental resources are improved. Your child constructs and continuously builds a library of personal knowledge that they can retrieve from as needed.