Friday, January 11, 2013

What is RDI?

Psst, I will let you into a little secret!

RDI is all about parenting.

When I first got involved with the RDI program, the focus was on the child. There was a book published by the Connections Centre, giving lots of ideas on the games you could play with your child to work through some basic stages of development. I have the book somewhere, not sure where. All I know is that it has been gathering dust for a few years. 

Then RDI moved on... It became more precise. Child development was broken up into more finely tuned objectives within developmental stages. The parent's aim was to work through the objectives in order for the child to progress through the program. All the information was available for us to look at. We could see where we had been and where we were going. We also had access to a reference library of sorts, where we could watch footage of other parents engaging with their children. Awesome stuff.

RDI has now evolved and is more parent based. Although each child objective is taken into consideration, the focus of the RDI program is now on guiding the parent to be an effective guide to their child. Initially I thought to myself that the RDI program should be about the child; after all it is the child who needs the help! However, as I have progressed through the program I have come to realise that in actual fact the parent's role is huge. The role that I play will carry on past school days and beyond the shelf life of therapy. From my perspective, I don't consider RDI to be therapy; it is more a way of life. I intend to work myself out of the RDI program and in order to do that, I need to know what I am doing, why I am doing it and how I am going to effectively guide my child throughout his life. 

This is such a simplistic explanation and I barely skim the surface. Peel back the layers and there is so much to learn and understand. I have a NT kid and parenting him is easy. It's instinctive and feels natural. It isn't possible to parent Nick in this way. He is complicated and his development is deeply buried beneath the years that have passed by too quickly. My brain has moved past those early days of toddlerhood and I need assistance to *rethink* and then do.

Am I happy with the changes that RDI has gone through? Absolutely! Change is great. Change moves us forward. Change helps us to become more flexible.

Why do I put in the effort when it is obvious that my child is on the more severe end of the spectrum? Easy... I have already seen the benefit to my child, to me and to our family life. How can I not carry on. I have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Onwards and upwards.



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