The Mission of the RDI Program is to provide every parent with the means to conduct their primary parenting function: engaging with their child in a Guiding Relationship. This is crucial in order to provide essential opportunities for mental, self and neural growth.
In typical development, the Guiding Relationship emerges naturally during the child’s first year of life. Over time, it takes the form of day-to-day playful interactions, goal-oriented collaborations and conversations where:
- Parent-guides learn to intuitively balance challenge and support in a manner that is optimal for their child’s mental and self-growth.
- Children learn to function as mental apprentices who readily seek out and actively contribute to parental guiding.
- The Guiding Relationship becomes the primary setting for children to develop the knowledge of themselves and others, along with the mental skills, habits and mindset needed to thrive in their increasingly complex, unpredictable, stressful and perplexing world.
In some children (such as those with ASD), impairments have left them unwilling to engage in, and unable to actively contribute to, a naturally-developing Guiding Relationship. Despite their parents’ intuitive ability and strong desire to guide, they are unable to provide essential growth-promoting opportunities for their children.
The RDI Program was specifically designed to provide these parents and children the means to form a ‘Mindful’ Guiding Relationship, which provides the same developmental functions as its ‘natural’ alternative, but requires that parents learn how to guide in a conscious, planned and reflective manner, that adapts to their child’s unique needs.
The program provides parents with the tools to build their child’s motivation and ability to actively participate as a competent mental apprentice – contributing the same degree of enthusiasm and desire for mental growth as their typically-developing peers.