Sunday, April 07, 2013

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month.  I have a son with high functioning autism/Aspergers.  We have come a long way in the past eight years with a program called Relationship Development Intervention.  It is a developmental program founded by Dr. Steven Gutstein.  Autism is a processing disorder where children miss many developmental steps along the way.  Dr. Gutstein surveyed all of the milestones that typically developing children pass through and came up with over 1,000 objectives in the RDI program.   Dr. Gustsein believes you can deliberately work on objectives in the developmental order they occur at a slower pace with children with ASD.  By doing this with your child they master objectives and move along the typical developmental path. It allows your child a developmental "do over" on what he/she has  missed.  You work with a consultant who helps you guide your child.  It is a great fit with homeschooling.  Dr. Gutstein believes that you are capable of guiding your child and making progress.  Dr. Gutstein was a homeschooling parent himself.

My son has made amazing progress with RDI.  He is able to do more school work, is able to solve problems, has friendships with his brothers, sisters and others.  He is becoming a functioning and contributing member of our family.  If you have a child on the Autism Spectrum I think you might enjoy exploring RDI.

Lastly, my friend Kathy Darrow, an RDI Consultant, did an interview on Autism One Radio about RDI.    I felt the interview does a great job giving you an overview of the program. 
Happy April!

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