RDI® is an autism treatment model that takes the power of remediation from the professionals and puts it in the hands of parents. Guided by certified RDI® consultants, parents are provided the tools to effectively teach Relationship Intelligence skills and motivation to their children.
RDI® is implemented in the home utilizing normal day to day activities and engagements with the ultimate goal of re-establishing the broken parent/child guiding relationship. Gradually as confidence and competence are shared and sustained RDI® becomes much more than an intervention, it becomes a fulfilling lifestyle.
Instead of teaching short term compensations, RDI® is centered on treating the core deficits of autism using parent child activities in the home. Here are some examples:
In The Car
- Go a different route in the car
- When choosing a CD to listen to in the car, shake your head “no” until he finds one you can both agree on, then shake “yes”( smiles and frowns fine too)
- Make up silly songs while driving (or add new words to familiar songs!)
- “Blow out” the red light together as you wait for it to turn green while driving and then celebrate, “we did it! we turned it green!”
- Reading a book – but closing it between pages to spotlight the emotion sharing, adding in funny nonsense words every so often or changing the prosody in your voice
- Brushing child’s nose instead of their teeth – very lightly
- Acting like the teeth are so sparkly they are blinding
- PJ’s on bottoms on arms, top on legs
- When giving a bath, reference parts of body he/ she needs to wash
- When putting your child to bed, lay quietly for a few minutes and a share gaze
- Open your mouth wide and indicate you want a bite when child is having snack( like donut holes)
- Ask your child to come stir while you pour something, while cooking
- Blow bubbles in milk
- Change seating at kitchen table
- Pretend you are stuck to your chair / to the ground and can’t get up / can’t walk and need help
- When your child is laying on the couch or floor (and you want him to do something but he doesn’t want to get up) take his hand and pull – hard enough to create tension but not hard enough to pull him off the couch or floor. When he takes that active role to “get up” you spotlight this – i.e. “I am so glad you are ready to join me!” You have just created an opportunity for learning about self regulation.
- Pretend the door is stuck, lids on jars, dishwasher and washer doors are stuck
- Walk backwards together from car to house (hold hands)
- Wipe table and counters off using patterns (share towel and spray bottle)
- Carry heavy bags in together from car to house (pretend they keep falling or are too heavy for you)
- Swing arms together in a pattern as you walk hand in hand together to the car, into the store, to the next room, etc.
- Create unexpected names / labels to familiar objects
- Pause just before completing a sentence
- While he is having a great time on tramp or swing, peek out and catch the eyes to share enjoyment
- Tease that you are going to give him a “wet willy” ( lick finger tickle ear)
- When he/she leaves the door open, reference the door that he/she needs to close it
- Kisses -blow kisses, butterfly kisses, Eskimo kisses and a lick on the check instead of a kiss (yuck!)
- Hugs – bear hugs, baby bear hugs, momma hugs, daddy bear hugs
- High fives – up high, down low, oops – too slow. behind the back, with both hands (high tens) with one, running high fives to meet in the middle
- Funny handshakes
This list was compiled with ideas from consultants, parents and friends.
For more in-depth information about the RDI® Model and why we use framing activities, join the community!