Saturday, January 10, 2015

RDI ~ January 2015



I went to a morning workshop on Autism. Don't ask!


After a couple of hours of listening to the speakers, I quickly nipped out to visit the loo (less than five minutes). Fast forward another hour.... My friend, who was sitting next to me, told me that RDI had been mentioned while I was gone. The delegates were told that it isn't possible to implement RDI in schools and that RDI was just for parents, so that they could do stuff with their kids, at home.

Oh really!

I sit here and think about my child. My extremely autistic pre-verbal teen. A boy who is so challenged that he is unable to live independently. I could go on and on but I am sure you catch my drift!

I am irritated. Can you tell? 

I am reflecting on our recent holiday to Zimbabwe. I am remembering how Nick, very casually, coped with a multitude of changes. We don't use visuals, schedules or social stories. Nick was flexible, adaptable, resilient. communicative, engaged, connected and co-regulated. I am aware that we used the iPad at times, however, so did my first born and his cousin. Hell, so did I. Autism wasn't an issue. We had a regular family holiday.

For sure we *do stuff* at home. But we also *do stuff* out in the community. We live an RDI lifestyle. My style of communication is very mindful and this has been hugely beneficial to Nick's progress. Being aware of the 'edge plus one' concept is huge. I am always thinking of the next step.... and Nick takes on that next step because he trusts me! Having a program that approaches natural development from the roots up is empowering. Being part of an intervention that details every little piece of development is empowering. Do I think that RDI will remediate my son? No, I don't. However, what I do know is that because of RDI, we now have a life. Thanks to us implementing RDI, Nick has made wonderful progress and will continue to do so. His life is easier and less stressful.  Although we make accommodations for Nick, our life does not revolve around him anymore. We are a family and we endeavour to have a balance. We live life naturally.

For us, Zimbabwe would not have happened without RDI.

On that note, I am off to a boozy Birthday party for the rest of the day. I am leaving my two boys at home, alone!

Cheers! :)



12 comments:

  1. Love it, you and Nick are stars :-)

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  2. I can't understand why anyone could dismiss RDI, it is one of the most gentle loving and effective therapies I have come across and Nick is proof that it works!

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    1. I know, I also can't understand it. Oh well, each to their own! xx

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  3. Disclaimer: I'm not a consultant nor am I led by a consultant presently.

    HOWEVER, I'm a founder and teacher at a Charlotte Mason style private school for all kinds of children: gifted, typical, Down's, ADD, intelligent, autistic, and otherwise. We do believe in a slow paced, thoughtful, mindful style of education. And guess what! When you follow an educational philosophy which recognizes children as persons, give them time to chew on what they are learning, give them open ended questions (tell me about X), and blank pages to draw or write what was learned (instead of worksheets), children thrive. Our formerly nonverbal student (he had words but nobody would wait 20 seconds for him to process) is now speaking in long sentences, asking questions, AND picking up Spanish!

    Hurrumph and bah humbug to those people!

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly, walking. :)

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  4. It's amazing what people tell you what your ASD child will never do and then they surpass all those things grandly! It's so important for autistic children to have supportive parents and you sound amazing xx

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    1. Thank you, Family Ties. Never say never! :)

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  5. Have you also looked into RPM for communication and for academics? It really is very effective for more severe children who have so much to say and they can learn so well in this manner. I like it because it is not the rote ABA teaching that seems to be forced on so many kids even when it proves to be ineffective and would pair so well with RDI.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. Yes, I have looked into RPM and I am hesitant to try it. I have seen quite a bit of video footage and I find it too fast and too prompted. Please share any relevant video clips that show it being used in a more RDI friendly way. Thanks.

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  6. I do find you and Nick very inspiring. I am currently exploring whether RDI is something that can be used across settings - including school, and will be sending people the way of your blog. Thank you for continuing to share your successes.

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    1. Thank you, alifeunlimited. A great starting point for any school would be to look at their style of communication. It helped us so much. Thanks so much for your continued support.

      http://brightsideoflifeasd.blogspot.com/2013/11/dis-23-ways-on-how-to-communicate-with.html
      http://brightsideoflifeasd.blogspot.com/2012/09/rdi-changing-my-style-of-communication.html (very old!)

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