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Whether your child was recently diagnosed or your family has been living with autism for some time now, you know that parenting a child with autism can come with unique stresses and challenges. Maybe you’ve tried different approaches to parenting without much success. If you’ve found it difficult to teach or discipline your child or share what should be joyful moments with them, you might feel like giving up on having the parent-child relationship you’ve always wanted – but there is hope. Learn more about what RDI® can do for your family with this online course for parents of children with autism.
5 Practical Implementations of RDI® in Your Life as an Adult To Help You at Work, at School or Socially
Autism doesn’t go away when you grow up. Improve your quality of life and relationships, achieve your goals and live the life you want to live with RDI®.
Studies have found that children and teens with autism are more likely to be bullied than their typically developing peers. Over 60% of children, teens and young adults with autism experience bullying. Among them, high schoolers are more likely to be bullied. If the rate of bullying among autistic individuals is so high, you might be wondering: Why isn’t more being done about it? To start with, a lot of parents don’t know that their child is being bullied.
If you’re an autism professional or aspiring autism professional, you might be considering an advanced autism certification. An advanced certification can help you to accelerate your career growth, but there are so many choices available; how do you know which certification is the right one for you?
If you’re a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist or other professional who works with children, there can sometimes be barriers to helping your clients meet their goals. One is a lack of parent involvement.
We’re taught from a young age that high self-esteem is something to be desired and attained, but self-esteem isn’t all we need. Although it’s not talked about nearly as much, self-acceptance is much more important when it comes to good mental health and overall happiness.
Our understanding of autism spectrum disorder and how to approach it has changed tremendously over the years. We now know that people who have neurodevelopmental differences like autism simply think and function a little differently than the rest of the population.
In this video, I discuss a case study about using RDI® to address behavior issues at school. I’ve been working with this particular family for about 17 years, so I’m very familiar with the child and his history. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe the student in the classroom several times, either in-person or through video review or a live Zoom feed. In one instance, I was asked to observe some video taken in the classroom to look for a potential bullying situation.
We all experience anxiety sometimes. Long ago, when resources were more scarce and we lived more dangerous lives, anxiety helped us to recognize threats like predators. Even today, it can help us in certain situations. Children can also experience anxiety and, just like with adults, if it isn’t managed, anxiety can make day-to-day life less enjoyable and more difficult.
By law, children with support needs have the right to school services. If your child is denied access or you’re dealing with roadblocks, you should take the necessary steps to make sure they receive appropriate services. This process can be intimidating, but it’s part of advocating for your child and ensuring that they receive the education and other services they’re entitled to.
While speech is a very helpful skill to have, it’s not the be-all and end-all of communication. It’s better for someone to be nonverbal and truly communicate with others through other methods, rather than being able to speak, but not able to participate in reciprocal communication.
“Transforming the Well-being of Persons with Autism,” a research paper written by RDIconnect co-founders Dr. Steven Gutstein and Dr. Rachelle Sheely, was recently published in “Psychoanalytic...
As adults, we typically identify and process our emotions and those of others automatically. It can feel effortless to us, but this is an important skill that autistic people can have difficulty with. There is hope. As a parent guide, you can help your child gain awareness of emotions, which will help them successfully navigate many aspects of their life.
We believe that using RDI® as the foundation for the treatment of autistic language delays and disorders in your practice encourages growth and forward motion and in the child. In the RDIconnect podcast episode, “RDI and Non-Verbal Children,” a discussion between Kat Lee and Dr. Rachelle Sheely illustrates how our model approaches communication first, and how other treatments miss that important factor.
Many of us enjoy the benefits of being online. We connect with people from all over the world, we pursue our interests, we are entertained, and we can learn about any topic that we are interested in. Our autistic children and teens benefit as we do from the online world; however, our youngsters can be more vulnerable to cyber threats such as predators, pornography, and bullying if they do not understand the dangers, and if they do not establish and use internet safety skills.
Many of us experience difficulties when dealing with change in life. But if you are an autistic adult or teen, you may find yourself particularly subject to anxiety with the big life shifts that you face, such as starting high school, college, switching jobs, moving out on your own, and the inevitable changes that happen with relationships. Is there any way to help with this?
The following article was re-posted with permission from SAIconnection's blog and was written by RDI® Certified Consultant Kamini Lakhani. Many parents ask if RDI is only for autistic individuals....
Puberty can be daunting for any young person. Puberty wafts into a teen’s or pre-teen’s life with physical changes, as well as changes that are unseen, such as increased cortisol levels that often lead to shifts in emotions and struggles with behavior regulation. An adolescent can switch from having a happy and low-stress day to crying within minutes. These changes can be even more difficult for autistic young people who typically deal with sensory challenges.
An autistic individual can experience eating or food challenges at any age, but studies indicate that even though eating difficulties can and do carry over into adulthood, they typically improve. A compilation of studies published by Science Direct, authored by Susan D. Mayes, Ph.D., and Hana Zickgraf, Ph.D., report that atypical eating behaviors are significantly more common in autism (70.4%) compared to children with other disorders (13.1%), and neurotypical children (4.8%).
Providing support for our autistic teen or adult is a necessary part of being a parent, and this is often one of our top concerns. But as we do so, we can unknowingly fall into a default mechanism that infantilizes the individual and treats them as if they are not capable of being their own person. We typically do this with the underlying belief that we are giving the best support, and that we have our teen or adult’s best interests in mind, however, infantilizing them is unnecessary, and innately dangerous.
How can RDI® provide real-world support for your child, teen, or young adult to prepare them for higher education, or a real-world job? In Dr. Steven Gutstein’s words, “Dynamic Intelligence is the mental ability that enables humans to successfully navigate the world and our relationships….and we have developed many resources to meet the mental challenges encountered in dynamic environments.”
Even though this can look different for every autistic person, autistic individuals – especially children, commonly struggle with executive functioning. Individuals with executive dysfunction can lack acquired motivation to achieve goals and prepare for normal events in day-to-day life (i.e., money management), and they often experience difficulties picking up on skills such as organization, planning, and reasoning without guided learning experiences. Despite these challenges, autistic individuals can learn to manage money.
As loving parents, we want our children to succeed in life. But sometimes, this pushes us blindly into overcompensation. We find ourselves frequently sneaking in and organizing our autistic teen’s school work to ensure they have a positive next day in class. Or we continue to do our kid’s laundry because we do not trust that they will do it themselves and that they will end up with no clean clothes in their closet. By not letting our kid fly on their own, we teach them that they are not accountable and lack responsibility. In turn, we presume incompetence, even if it only pertains to some areas of their lives. This can lead our children to feel that independence is either impossible or that they are flawed.
When an individual ages out of traditional therapy for autism it can present daunting challenges for a young adult or teen, as well as their parents. Where do I go from here as I transition to adulthood? What resources are available for housing, employment, mental health counseling, and other supports long-term?
Dynamic Intelligence refers to a collection of resources including self-knowledge, mental habits, mindsets, and mental tools that help us function effectively in complex dynamic environments. In simple terms, DI helps individuals cope with diverse situations, become problem-solvers, and learn to effectively pivot with life changes.
In this webinar from RDIconnect®, RDI® consultant Blair Armstrong talks about critical foundations for the pre-apprentice.
Millions of people in our population are diagnosed with depression every year. Most individuals are diagnosed based on common ‘by the book’ symptoms, but this can leave an entire segment of our population out. Depression often presents itself differently in neurodiverse individuals, which makes it much more difficult to pinpoint as an autistic, and to diagnose as a clinician.
When we insist on complete control of our children, we do not presume competence. Instead, we presume incompetence, with the underlying belief that our kids cannot learn and achieve growth unless we always step in for them. When we presume competence in our children, we believe that they possess the ability to learn and develop.
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?
Some children, and adults as well, gather strength in private alone time. Solitude can feel good to these individuals, so they seek it. But this can lead parents, especially those that feel a personal need to be socially active, into the throngs of concern, “My kids do not want to socialize. They are happy being alone. Should I force socialization?” We understand that a child’s desire for aloneness can present real concerns for parents, but rather than forcing socialization (which does not work), here are some key points to consider:
When the world around us pushes us to stress overload, as it often does, we turn to our long-learned coping mechanisms to navigate the challenges. But what if we are autistic, and have crossed the threshold of overwhelm? When our emotional resources are tapped out, in exhaustion our brain may react by going into a protective mode called shutdown.
When an autistic person does not speak, it is known as nonspeaking autism. Nonspeaking is not a diagnosis. It is the terminology used to describe individuals that communicate through modalities other than spoken words.
It’s important to remember that while autism makes your child more vulnerable to other differences, these differences are NOT autism. They must be treated separately.
All parents feel guilty sometimes, but it seems to occur more often when you’re parenting a child who has special needs. You might feel stressed, sad, or even angry or resentful sometimes – and then you feel guilty for having these completely normal emotions! And of course, there are the feelings and worries that go with the types of treatment you choose for your child!
It is a common myth that intrinsic motivation is not possible with autism. The great news is that Intrinsic motivation IS obtainable with autism.
RDI® activities can be as small as moving items from one place to another together, or can be bigger – like playing with toys or a game, sports, or outdoor activities. The most important thing to remember is to keep your goal in mind! If you don’t remember or aren’t clear on your goal, don’t be afraid to ask your consultant. They are here to help!
Learning how to guide your child with RDI® – like any skill – takes practice. When you take the time and effort to learn, practice, and implement the skills needed to guide your child, you, your child, and your entire family will reap the benefits.
Parents that set boundaries are less apt to overcompensate for their children, but many parents find it difficult to set limits and end up overcompensating for their child when they are stressed or tired, feel guilty, or simply because they feel that it won’t work. But setting limits can improve your child’s behavior, reduce their anxiety, and help them to develop a greater ability for self-regulation. It also teaches them respect for and consideration of others.
It is a myth that all autistic people have an intellectual disability. The truth is that 2/3 of people on the spectrum have average or above-average IQs. IQ is not an indicator of future progress. IQ tests measure static intelligence, whereas (RDI®) treatment progress is measured by how well the child can navigate the dynamic world.
In this webinar, RDI® Certified Consultant Kat Lee and Echo Li, RDI® China correspondent, discuss commonly asked questions about the program.
Apraxia, echolalia, and autism are highly comorbid – if your child is diagnosed with one, they should be evaluated for the others, because they frequently occur together.
Over the past 30 years, the DSM and public understanding of autism have evolved. Our original work from the 1990s may use language and terminology that make it sound outdated by current standards,...
As adults, most of us self-regulate habitually – we barely think about it. But can you guide your autistic child to self-regulate as you do? Self-regulation is the process that we go through that gives us the ability to control our behaviors and emotions – which is crucial to independence in life.
In this webinar, Certified RDI® Consultants Kat Lee and Dr. Sarah Wayland discuss how the pandemic has affected both us as parents, and our children. During the last two years or so, a lot of parents have struggled just to get their kids through each day. Besides the emotional impact of COVID itself on both adults and children, there are many other struggles to contend with.