The following was written by RDI mom who worked with Kamini Lakhani in India.
Slow down to speed up. This is amongst the first of Dr. Gutstein’s thoughts that I heard over 3 years ago. The thought is so simplistic in nature but so effective from a dynamic growth viewpoint. In the initial months on the RDI program I realized how true it was!
My son had been on the ABA program for six years that can be excellent for teaching skills but relies on fast paced errorless teaching method with very little space given to deliberate on the process of cognitive thinking. Then I decided to switch him on to the RDI program, which was an eye opener. RDI is all about affording time to encourage cognitive thinking. It is not task focused or on product. It believes in investing in emotions- building a lasting bond of trust and openness with your child. Here, you are no longer a person teaching your child. You become a co-participant, a partner for your child who has a mind of his own and you ‘guide’ them through tricky situations that afford them opportunities for knowledge that is experience based and gradually set them on the path of confidence and success.
Related: A Dad Finds Hope with RDI
We had a tough time teaching my son to communicate through signs as well as verbally; he would get confused and mixed up. This was because what we were teaching him was just words that were not backed with experience. Now, I’m seeing language slowly developing.
I now realize what I termed as my son’s “behaviors” was my inability to understand what he was trying to communicate. I’m now seeing my son evolve as a thinking individual who has choices and preferences of his own and is even beginning to assert himself.
This does not mean that all is done. This means that ‘WE’ have both set on the path to Remediation with miles to go……
Kamini Lakhani is a, RDI program consultant and the Director of SAI School (ABA Center) and SAI Connections (RDI Center). She has over 19 years of experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and currently serves as the director of our RDI Professional Training Center in Mumbai. She is the Director of SAI School (ABA Center) and SAI Connections (RDI Center)