Using RDI® To Address Behavior Issues in the Classroom


In this video, Kat Lee, Certified RDI® Program Consultant discusses a case study about using RDI® to address behavior issues at school. She worked with this particular family for about 17 years, so was very familiar with the child and his history. Over the years, she 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, she was asked to observe some video taken in the classroom to look for a potential bullying situation.

Case Study: Using RDI® To Address Behavior Issues in the Classroom

The Situation: Potential Bullying

Over the years, this student had become more conversational, but often still lacked understanding. He often didn’t understand when he was being made fun of or disrespected. In this situation, another student seemed to be mocking him by doing an extreme imitation in an attempt to get our student to mimic him.

When the student was young, he could not do any kind of imitation, but after his parents began using the RDI® approach to teach him imitation, he learned how to do it. As a result, he often looked at what his classmates were doing to figure out what he was supposed to do in class. He got very good at this, but it meant that he sometimes imitated things he shouldn’t – like the other student’s imitations.

After watching the footage, Kat (RDI® Consultant) discussed the situation with the classroom aides and we decided that they had to put an end to it, to prevent future occurrences or an escalation.

Some questions asked during this process include:

  • What were this other student’s intentions?
  • Was it an attempt to connect?
  • Or was it simply attention-seeking?
  • Were the aides seeing what they thought they were seeing?

All the classroom aides said that the potential bully was always nice and even friendly to the student in question, so they found it hard to believe that he was bullying him. After the aides and Kat (RDI® Consultant) talked to the parents and school, we decided that a discussion with the potential bully about the behavior would be the best solution. This way we could let him know that the behavior was inappropriate. The discussion was had and the situation was resolved.

Contributing Factors to the Successful Resolution of the Situation

  • A very carefully considered, yet timely approach
  • Video analysis allowed everyone to understand what was going on and to work together to come up with some compassionate ways to handle the situation
  • RDI® trained classroom aides
  • A good working relationship with the RDI® Consultant
  • A consistent plan
  • Ensuring everyone is on the same page
  • Protecting the integrity of all involved
  • Considering the individuality of every person involved

The proposed solution to this problem was based on RDI® principles. The RDI® Program is focused on person-centered, growth-oriented and compassionate solutions to problems. Each person living with autism, intellectual disability or a similar condition has their own unique personality, strengths and challenges. Their growth and development plan must be as unique as they are.

The RDI® Professional Training Program

Could you or your school or organization benefit from the RDI® Program? We offer RDI® training that can teach you how to create a learning and development plan for your child or students. Completing RDIconnect® Professional Certification will enhance your qualifications, improve your knowledge and understanding of autism spectrum disorders and train you in the practicalities of implementing an RDIconnect® Family Consultation Program.

Learn more about the RDI® Professional Training Program here.

Not sure if RDI® is right for you? Learn more here: RDI® Consultant Training FAQs


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This