Updated: Mar 5, 2022
I am so happy you are here! My passion for RDI has spanned over 15 years when I first began RDI with my own son, Jake, as a parent. The progress he has made is remarkable. He is now an independent adult, a proud autistic advocate and a Certified Dog Trainer. He loves life, he seeks out challenge and he strives to help others. You can watch some of our story here.
My first mission was to help Jake become the best person he could be. I knew he was smart, I knew he was capable, I just needed to learn how to guide his dynamic mind. RDI gave me that roadmap.
I then became a Certified RDI Consultant and my next mission began: to reach other families and help them achieve the success we have achieved for our family. I have grown so much on our journey, learned so much from Dr. Gutstein, founder of RDI, and I learned so much from Jake as we grew together. I never thought of RDI as “fixing” Jake. RDI just gave me the tools to guide his growth and development, just as you would want to with any child.
Jake and I have a true bond that I cherish. When I started our journey after the diagnosis I was scared, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to expect. I followed my instincts and did not succumb to the pressure of a behavioral intervention. Forced compliance, and external rewards did not appeal to me.
I craved the relationship we had been unable to form. And not any relationship, but the guiding relationship.
We both loved each other but we did not have a guiding relationship prior to RDI. The guiding relationship is crucial to form a dynamic mind.
I rejected ABA therapy because I did not believe my son should be treated with commands, demands and rewards.
I rejected Floortime because I felt if I followed Jake's lead, it would lead no where. It would lead to his repetitive and restricted interests which would not develop dynamic growth. Jake was shutting me out of his world because he believed he needed to be static to be safe. RDI taught me how to set up opportunities where Jake began to trust me and feel safe enough to go one step ahead with me as his guide.
Below is the original video of Jake at our RDA - Relationship Development Assessment.
I was told not to initiate anything to see what Jake would do. As you can see Jake does not initiate with me. Instead, he turns inward. Through the process of RDI Jake did begin to see the value of relationships and interacting with me. Today we have a beautiful relationship that we both value. Jake has close relationships with family and many close friends.
The next two videos are Jake today advocating for RDI.
Of course, you need to select the path right for you and your family. To find out more about RDI visit www.rdiconnect.com or check out more videos here. When you are ready, call us to see how we can get you started on your RDI Journey! We would love to help.