Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®)
RDI empowers parents by giving them the knowledge, skills and tools they need in order to become their child’s #1 teacher and guide in life.
What is RDI?
RDI is a cognitive, emotional, and social approach to providing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers Syndrome and additional developmental disorders the skills needed to find gainful employment, true friendship, a happy family life, romantic relationships and independence.
Parents and caregivers, grandparents and teachers will get the tools needed to guide children and help them grow by creating a safe yet challenging learning environment we call the “guided participation relationship”. Parents will learn to use everyday tasks to create a safe yet challenging, learning environment as their children learn to be me more flexible and thoughtful in how they respond to unique, uncertain environments and challenges.
What does an RDI assessment look like?
RDI involves a full assessment of the current parent-child relationship in order to create your plan based on where you are now, and to get to know you as a family. RDI also includes a child-specific assessment with the RDI consultant in order to get to know your child, and so that your program goals match your child’s current developmental level.
From there, your customized RDI program will be based on your child’s developmental level and what your family needs most. The program is dynamic so you and your child continue to learn and grow together (you’re never stuck standing still!). We then plan together to make sure that your program’s goals and schedule make sense for your family, because if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it just won’t stick!
What do RDI sessions look like?
RDI looks a little different for each family, but almost always includes meetings every two weeks, where your consultant will either introduce a new goal or build on an existing goal. Depending on what you need most each time we meet, our meetings may focus on:
- Learning: Just the parents and the consultant are present, and we might talk privately, troubleshoot, or learn about a new goal.
- Practice: Your child joins us during practice sessions. Your consultant will teach and demonstrate new strategies and have you practice them (so you leave knowing what to do!).
RDI goes beyond the “treatment room” so you’ll receive customized, take-home assignments to accompany each meeting, allowing you to practice in real-world situations at home, during everyday life. You can also access to the RDI Online Platform, which makes it easy to track progress and stay in touch in between meetings. The platform also offers countless e-learning resources, houses your assignments, and allows you to get in touch with the RDI Community, talking with other parents and seeking support when you need it.
You’ll learn how to submit videos to your consultant, showcasing your at-home progress. Your consultant will analyze each video and provide you with feedback and tips specific to you, so you always know where you stand, and advice is never far away if you ever feel stuck!
Flexible scheduling is available so we can work around your family’s schedule wherever possible. Distance appointments (via video chat) can also be used to reduce travel time and give you ongoing access to your consultant via email and quick phone calls.
Kira Matthes B.A. Psychology, RDI Consultant (CIT)
Kira graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and went on to do her RDI Consultant Certification with RDIconnect. She has worked at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children in a variety of different programs, at the University of Winnipeg in a research capacity, and has worked alongside ADAPT Manitoba to create educational materials to better inform Manitobans on the development Autism approaches that are available to them.