This article was originally published and written in 2013 By RDI Consultant, Dr LorRainne Jones 

I have a little RDI guy who was diagnosed with PDD at about age 2.  When he was 18 months old, I got a call from his dad…his son had no words, poor eye contact, limited play skills, liked to walk around looking at the edges of window sills and bookcases, liked to watch toys drop, did not respond to his name, did not appear to understand any language, etc.  I asked him to bring the little guy over for a screening the next day…for me it was just a confirmation…Therapy started the next week…

He was nonverbal and, using the program I describe in my book, we got his spoken language and referencing going first.  Then we addressed acquisition of early cognitive skills.  We worked on acquisition of receptive language as needed.  By starting with expressive language first, we can teach both at the same time.  Then, we referred for a diagnosis.  “PDD”, the doctor said.  Considering where he had been,  I was happy with that.

Related: Teaching Social Skills with RDI

About six months into treatment, he started OT.  A short while after that, we started RDI.  About 6 months later, he started two mornings a week at an inclusive preschool. It was not good. “Not ready yet”, I told them. Rather, time spent with neurotypical children would be less formal, a gymboree class here and there.  The neighborhood playground worked well, too   The primary focus had to be  RDI .  “We will get him there”, I told them.  The parents got it and did what they needed to do.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  He started in a regular kindergarten classroom and is thriving.  He gets a great behavior-green light report everyday.  He is popular and has lots of friends.  The teacher mentioned that she wanted to refer him for testing for the gifted education program.  She wanted to make sure that he did not get bored.  She explained to the parents that it was important to get these gifted kids identified as early as possible so they would thrive.  She hinted that gifted kids have educational needs that differ from typical children. Thanks to RDI, and other timely interventions, he is going to get a very special “special education”.

Thank you, again, for RDI!!!!

LorRainne Jones, M.A., CCC-SLP, Ph.D., BCBA   Dr. Jones is a licensed speech- language pathologist with over 30 years experience. She also has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan. Dr. Jones works with children with autism, PDD, and Asperger syndrome. Her area of expertise is teaching speech to non verbal children with Autism. She has been an RDI Certified Consultant for over five years.

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