mercredi 23 novembre 2016

RDI 6 years later!

HI I am back after 6 years of silence. I have been going through very good times with the RDI program. I am learning all the time, there's no end to new information as Dr. Gutstein keeps updating the program according to the latest in research. I have been helping families succeed and many of my children made tremendous progress and are doing very well. I keep believing in autism remediation and attaining quality of life. The RDI program went through many changes and it is used with populations other than ASD right now, which is very encouraging. There is a component for the family consultation and there is one called 'dynamic curriculum' targeted at the students. There are very good videos on Youtube of Dr. Gutstein and other consultants that explain RDI and research in detail. See the links below: This video is amazing! It shows what can be accomplished with the RDI program: I will be back with more information, hopefully soon!!!

mardi 27 avril 2010

What is RDI-part 2

I am back with more information on RDI(tm). One of the mothers I work with read my first post and suggested that I mention that RDI can also be used with children who have an atypical development (e.g. ADHD, Learning Disabilities and other delays) since RDI is a developmental approach and most of the developmental milestones are addressed. I should also mention that RDI is really a parenting style that should be used by all parents with all children. Thus, RDI cannot harm any child, neuro-typical or not.

When a new parent starts the RDI program, there are many things to consider. Readiness is usually a concept that is applied to children on the spectrum with regards to educational objectives, but is also applicable to parents who are starting RDI. It is very important that the parents prepare well before starting RDI. They have to have the cognitive (information) and emotional readiness. The following stages or aspects are important when considering parent readiness:

1. Information about the program: The new parents (new to RDI) have already some information about the approach (through the RDI book or DVD, an information session with a certified consultant, or even a 4-day parent workshop) when they decide to start the program.
To find more information on the offered workshops (2-day introductory or 4-day parent) or to purchase the RDI book or DVD, visit:

2. Understanding my role and their roles: I often have parents who misunderstand my role and expect me to act as a child therapist. As a certified consultant, I primarily work with the guides (the two parents) and role play with them the activities and then I let them try with their children. Sometimes I demonstrate with their child and then I observe them doing the same activity and I give them my feedback. In general, I spend about 20 to 25% of my time in direct interactions with the child (sometimes even less).

3. Understanding the type of commitment they are making: RDI is not a quick fix for a child's deficits (not a band-aid type of solution), but rather a deep (neurology changing) marathon that requires a slow pace and endurance. The slower we go, the faster we advance in RDI (EVERYTHING SLOWS DOWN: THE PACE OF ACTIONS, THE COMMUNICATION, THE CHILD AND PARENT'S HEART RATES, etc.)

Once the parents start the program, their learning and readiness work continues (there is a big learning curve with RDI and many A-HA moments on the journey-nothing is learned overnight).
The RDIos(tm) is a wonderful online learning system that has presentation, video lessons and communication features (between parents and parent and consultant).
Using the learning system, the first thing tackled is the education stage with many education objectives (e.g. learning about Autism, learning what core deficits are, learning what dynamic thinking is, etc.). Once this parent stage is mastered, the parents move on to a different stage called "readiness and commitment" and they have to tackle personal things such as emotional self-regulation (e.g. they have to be aware of their emotional reactions when the child is resisting interaction) and creating space (emotional and physical) for the RDI program.

Once parents have graduated from that stage, there is more planning to do before entering the "Apprenticeship" stage, where they are learning specific techniques to help them be efficient guides to their children. The RDI program is actually great because it can include all the children since the parents are changing the way they communicate with all the family members and not only the child involved in the program. It is very easy to use typical daily situations (e.g. supper) to work on specific objectives in a very natural way and including all the family (I will try to include video examples in the future if my clients allow it).

The next parent stage is "Guided participation stage" and it is then the parents are competent enough to tackle specific child objectives (from the child stages). Once the parents are in this parent stage they are working in parallel on both parent and child objectives.

The last parent stage is the culmination of the program and parent who graduate from this stage should be OK working with their child without seeing a certified consultant on a regular basis, but rather on a needs-to basis.

I will continue describing RDI in my next post which will focus on child stages.

jeudi 22 avril 2010

Who am I? What is RDI?

April 22, 2010

Hello! My name is Camelia Varga and I am an autism consultant, certified in RDI(tm), who lives in Montreal, Quebec.

I have decided to post a blog about the work I do in order to reach more families of children with Autism, Asperger and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. There are many of you who did not hear about a wonderful autism treatment that goes beyond teaching skills or modifying behaviors, straight to the core of the problem. The treatment is considered by many "the missing piece of the Autism puzzle". This amazing new generation treatment is called "Relationship Development Intervention" or RDI(tm) for short. The official website is and my own website is

The program remediates the core deficits of autism as opposed to teach skills that target symptoms of autism. I learned about this program in 2005 and soon after I started the certification program at Connections Center in Houston, TX. Previously to that I was involved in delivering one-on-one behavior modification programs, as well as supervising them. For at least six years I have perfected ways to become efficient in getting the children to respond in a certain way, to learn concept faster by using external reinforcers (reinforcers are edibles, toys, tickles, hugs, etc. that the child receives when he experiences success, such as a correct answer). The children were making progress but there was something missing: the children were still not able to share what was on their mind, they still avoided interactions with peers, they still had trouble dealing with change and they still seemed to have autism. I felt very bad about those aspects because I really wanted to affect the autism's core rather than help the child learn to count or read. I am not trying to diminish the importance of reading and counting and other such academic skills, but I think that there are other issues at hand (such as relating to other people and being able to actually feel something when reading a book). The RDI(tm) came as an answer to my prayers and it all fell into place. The success I started experiencing with families right from the start assured me that RDI is the answer for many families.

I will continue with the second part of "What is RDI" during the coming week.