What Problem Does RDI Address?

What is the problem? Why is the program necessary?

Most of us are fortunate to have grown up and raised our children in circumstances where things largely go as they should. We may think that parenting is difficult, but in reality we take our good fortune for granted. Our children’s development takes place in the context of a natural intuitive “Guiding Relationship.”

Related: A Brief Introduction to Guiding

If we were fortunate and all our stars lined up the way they were supposed to, we could remain blissfully unaware of this behind-the-scenes brain and mind building process we call the Guiding Relationship. That is, if nothing went wrong. But what if it did? What if, for example, a child was born with neural vulnerabilities that were so great, that they disrupted the natural process?

Some children, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, are born with vulnerabilities that prevent them from obtaining the critical developmental advantages provided by the Guiding Relationship. Until our program was begun in 2001 the failure to form a Guiding Relationship meant that opportunities for children’s dynamic mental and neural development were irrevocably lost.


This article is published in the RDI Learning Community, along with additional resources for how to employ Mindful Guiding to foster children’s co-regulatory functions that are essential for future collaboration, communication and friendship.


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