Everything You Need To Know About Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

relationship development intervention facts

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) is a type of therapy that is created to help and treat children with autism spectrum disorder and other kinds of pervasive developmental disorders. The main focus of the program is to aid the affected child in building healthy social relationships with other individuals, starting from their parents and then moving further to other people in their community.

Read further as we are going to discuss everything you need to know about RDI in today’s post.


Who Developed RDI?

The program was founded by Dr. Steven Gutstein, PhD, a pioneer in the area of developmental disabilities and internationally renowned for his field of work. He studied autism for 30 years and was able to establish the fact that early interaction of infants to their parents can promote good (if not, better) language, reasoning, and healthy social relations. And according to Dr. Gutstein, these areas of development are considered as the “core deficit” areas in ASD.


How Does It Work?

autism ribbon

The relationship development intervention program begins with a checkup session from a neurologist to assess the type of autism the child has through standardized diagnostic scales for autism. Once the type of autism is determined, the child and the parent will be scheduled to see a qualified consultant, who will then conduct an initial evaluation to know what to do in each session and how they will work together (the consultant and the parents) for the benefit of the child.

During RDI sessions, the parent will act as a guide to their child while allowing them to engage in activities such as playing games and musical instruments while the consultant takes the role of being a supervisor. All the activities involved are intended to allow the child to interact with others in a meaningful way and convey their thoughts and ideas in a more effective manner.

RDI sessions are usually recorded and will start with a 1-hour session with the consultant per week.  The sessions with the consultant may vary depending on the child’s progress. Once the child is determined to be responsive, he/she will then be introduced to other groups of people until consultant visits will no longer be required.


What Are The Crucial Things To Know About RDI?

  1. RDI is a long-term process, so firm passion and patience from parents are required. And though the progress can vary from one child to another, immediate results are often observed right away. Aside from that, dedication and commitment are also asked from the parents since their participation is a key factor in the social development of their child.
  2. The RDI program cost less as compared to other social and behavioral therapies for ASD since the consultant will only facilitate as a supervisor during sessions. And as the patient progresses further, the program will be more affordable since fewer sessions are required with the certified RDI consultant.
  3. Relationship development intervention serves as one of the foundations of the child’s development for creating meaningful relationships with others. Building relationships is a part of life. And any child who has undergone RDI will be more than capable of fostering relationships on their own as they grow old.

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