An RDI planned engagement!

It has been a while since I last shared an RDI engagement. This one is a 'warts and all' post. The video has not been edited, therefore if you want to watch it, be prepared, as it goes on for five minutes! 
The following notes are my reflections for the video footage. Please excuse sentence structure, grammar and any other glaring mistakes. The information shared here is what was sent to our RDI Consultant. I hope that you find it helpful and if you do have any questions, please feel free to ask me any questions.


I decided to try a car washing activity for this planned engagement. It has been years since I attempted this with Nick, although he has done this activity with Allan a couple of times (also a very long time ago!!). 
I planned to start off with a reciprocal pattern. Using one cloth, I would wash the car and then Nick would wash the car. I wanted to start off with a familiar pattern and thereafter bring in the challenge (the next step) of changing to a simultaneous pattern. I also wanted to revisit some referencing for info, working in sync together, Nick co regulating his actions with mine. All in all, it was set out to be an simple activity and the challenge wouldn't be too huge. I planned this purposely, as I wasn't too sure how Nick would manage. I told myself beforehand to cut back on the chat and slow MYSELF down by being more non verbal and only make the odd comment, declarative suggestion.


I observed that the planned engagement was far too easy for Nick. The video footage clearly shows how he is following my lead and also at times making up his own mind on what to do. His processing time is incredibly quick, which is brilliant. This activity wasn't a challenge for him (really when you think about it, it is WONDERFUL that it wasn't a challenge!).


1:47:  Nick accidentally got me wet, so I spotlighted the incident in the hope that he would react..... i.e, maybe do it again (on purpose). However, he didn't pick up on my cues. I am bookmarking this to remind myself to try again.... or even splash him in retaliation!

2:04: I change our pattern of working together. I feel that it is important to spotlight this as it shows me guiding Nick on what we are going to be doing next.

 2:32: I decide that I want to be very clear about what we are doing, so I start off scaffolding with saying "go" in order for us to start together. I use facial expressions and noises to indicate "stop".

3:30: I make the comment that I need some more water. Together, we move to the bucket and dip our cloths. I am spotlighting this because I love that we are in sync; and Nick is naturally matching his actions with mine.

3:40: I add in a little variation because it has been going so smoothly. We start cleaning the window and I make a comment about it being so "high", in order to invite Nick to think about what he needs to do next.......... he immediately realises that he needs to clean the area that I can't reach. 


I thought that this was a successful planned engagement........ although it was way too easy for Nick and as mentioned previously, the challenge was quite minimal. Therefore, next time we do this activity, I really need to think of something that is going to be hard for my boy AND also require him to think a bit more. Note that his left hand is not used a lot...... I also want to bear this in mind for a future activity..... get both of those hands working together. I think this video shows good examples of roles, switching patterns and problem solving in its simplest form!

Note: This footage was filmed before Nick got sick with Pneumonia. We are taking a break from further planned engagements until Nick has fully recovered. 


  1. Every time I read your RDI posts and watch the videos they feed into what I do here.... I don't always get the chance to plan them, but watching you reminds me what I can do as we go along - I must try car washing again here, it could be fun!

    1. It's great that my post reminds you of what you can do. I also pick up ideas from 'Ellen's Days'. I find it so helpful to learn from other families. Have fun with the car washing! xx


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