Bev is a gifted writer with Asperger’s syndrome who has successfully incorporated RDI into her lifestyle. Below are a few excerpts from her writings.
Difficulties for Adults
While the RDI Program assesses the proper place to begin and outlines all the “baby-steps” to take from there, it is hard for an adult (at least this one) to find the baby-steps to get from where I am, to a functioning RDI program. Dr. Gutstein says that, “Careful preparation is the cornerstone of successful treatment …based upon thorough, precise evaluation…and preparing the proper time and space for successful work.“ I think that is where my stumbling block lies …preparing the proper time and space for successful work.
Thoughts on Experience-Sharing
- Silence doesn’t have to mean anything
- You’re entitled to keep checking the lines of communication
- Don’t hang onto friends or playmates if you can’t tell them you’re not comfortable participating in an activity
- Instead of rules, in a relationship we have constant communication and two people doing the regulation
- But sometimes we make up rules based on what happens between us
- Trust is an issue for BOTH sides
- You can’t force joy
- You can’t force trust, either
- Trust is a pre-requisite for joy
- If your whole life FEELS aversive, than your whole life IS aversive.
- Aversive experiences kill joy and motivation to be with others.
- One should avoid aversive experiences as much as possible.
- Aspies are often “sold” aversive experiences as “good for us.” They are not.
- Pretending something is not aversive does not make it non-aversive.
- Anyone who criticizes us for not being able to explain or express our feelings or “reasons” for aversion are providing us with yet another aversive social experience.
Developing an RDI Enhancing Lifestyle
- Simplify your life.
- Avoid socially aversive experiences as much as possible. (NOTE: If it feels aversive then it is aversive.)
- Create an environment which is really comfortable: one that facilitates the ability to relax (and to enjoy being with another person).
- “Hypothesis-test” lots of variables to see what works best: seating, lighting, sound, pacing, visuals, objects, number of people, etc.
- Continually stop and check out what you wish to focus on whether that is a sight, smell, taste or touch.
- Create a preferences Journal.
- Use self-talk to strengthen your own voice so it is not overwhelmed by others.
- Find people who don’t demand that you fit in and be what they want you to be, but rather prefer to share your experiences.
- Ask people not to talk too much and to slow down.
- Don’t be embarrassed by wanting to play in a simple manner, even if it appears infantile.
We believe that there is no “window of opportunity” when working with yourself or others on the spectrum. For more information about our programs for all ages, contact firstname.lastname@example.org