I recently met Bronwen when discussing a mutual client. Bronwen is a RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) consultant. She will explain more in her blog post below ... I just wanted to add that the underlying principles and strategies of the intervention really clicked with me. It just made sense, I have already adapted the manner in which I communicate with students. Hence we thought it appropriate to let you know about this practice as it may assist in delivering successful outcomes for your students.
The principles of RDI - reducing communicative demands, the use of physical gestures and prompts and the structuring of authentic and dynamic learning and communication experiences and opportunities is simply good teaching practice.
A taster of Bronwen's upcoming Keynote at the Inclusive Practices Episode #4 focus on ASD, April 2, 2015
Grad. Dip. Ed. (UNE)
RDI ®Program Certified Consultant (RDI Connect, Houston, Texas)
ASD Life Quality Connections Connect and Relate for Autism Inc,
ASD Life Quality Connections and my involvement in Connect and Relate for Autism Inc grew out of my own experiences as a mother of a child diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. We struggled to manage and understand; trying to make sense of what was happening for our child and for the whole family. Social stories, learning to read faces and emotions, teaching skills all left me with a gnawing feeling that there was too much to do and something always missing in what we were doing ... compensations are only a bandaid. I had an overwhelming sense of gloom that we were not getting to the heart of the issues and the devastating impact for our child’s Quality of Life.
I found the Relationship Development Intervention Program® in February 2005. It immediately resonated with me, Dr Steven Gutstein clearly showed how the pieces of the Autism Spectrum puzzle fit together and added the missing pieces. Rather than being given another lecture show describing behaviours and symptoms; actually finally being guided to a thorough understanding of the core deficits was so enlightening. And it makes so much sense. Here are latest research based explanations and a clinical treatment program addressing all the underlying issues for which we had had no answers: the rigid thinking, aversion to change, inability to understand other’s perspectives, failure to empathise, and absolute “black and white” thinking.
It is an amazing journey to watch as a child learns to think for themselves, as they become self aware and understand others, as development generalises and they do things we have never scripted for... it is even more amazing to watch this in a child with ASD. In slow motion we guide and watch the daily little miracles of development, celebrating their second chance for quality of life.
No single problem causes ASD. Rather for each individual there is a unique “cocktail” of congenital factors that, when combined, serves as a “tipping point,” disrupting their ability to participate in early parent-child communication, and preventing even the most masterful parent from conducting the thousands of hours of safe, productive guidance scientists refer to as the “Guided Participation Relationship.” As a result of the loss of this essential early partnership, infants and toddlers with ASD retreat into safe but “static” worlds and avoid the everyday challenges, novel problems and uncertain situations that enable typically developing children to become competent in the dynamics of the real world as expert problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.
Relationship Development Intervention Certified Consultants empower parents, teachers and significant adults to understand how to guide to provide opportunities for a child / student / adult with ASD to develop the ability to think, communicate and relate dynamically.
At the upcoming April 2 professional learning ...
Bronwen will share her insight and awareness from her RDI journey to facilitate thinking about: Why you would bother as a teacher or teacher assistant to consider changing the way you communicate? Why the way we are communicating:
How you as a teacher or teacher assistant can guide and create opportunities for those missing foundations to be put back in place for your students with ASD .
How you can also reinforce these foundational dynamic skills in your neuro-typical students.