RDI and Asperger's Syndrome - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-14-2008, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My four year old son, Samuel, has Asperger's Syndrome. We have been given an opportunity to do RDI. I wondered if anyone here has done RDI, and, if so, what the experience was like. Also, any opinions/thoughts are welcome--I just read the Autism Acceptance thread, and I find that idea very appealing. I definitely do NOT want to change Samuel--he has so many incredible gifts that make him who he is. I'm thinking that RDI will help us better help him with his areas of difficulty (sensory overload, language interpretation, etc...) But if there was something more to say about RDI, I'd love to hear thoughts/opinions/etc. Thank you!

Ladonna
Mama to Samuel (6) Gabriel (4) and Jacee (just born on 12/15/09 7lbs5oz 20.75 in)
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#2 of 13 Old 07-14-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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We're doing VB for language issues and that has been helpful. We're thinking of doing RDI next year in addition to the other therapies for DD. I got a copy of Gutstein's book and it's interesting reading.

I suppose RDI could target sensory issues but it wouldn't be the same as OT for sensory issues. RDI's focus is on building relationships, relating to others in a meaningful way, understanding that others have feelings and thoughts separate from ours, sharing, turn taking, social referencing, etc.

I'm sure sbgrace will have a lot of great information to share. She's doing RDI with her son.

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#3 of 13 Old 07-14-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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RDI has been very good for my son. It is a gentle approach...I'm just helping my son make discoveries essentially. And it does help kids make discoveries that just don't come naturally for those on the spectrum. But there is no concern RDI (or any intervention actually) is going to change who a child is at his base. My son hasn't changed his personality but he has made some developmental leaps that are helping and will help him in life.
I found this blog a while back in which an RDI mom is talking about her take on the idea that doing RDI would change who the child is in some way and the debate of acceptance vs. cure. What she says is how I feel about that debate. And she talks about her motivation for RDI and intervention which parallels mine and I think many parents. http://thismom.blogs.com/this_mom/20...tism-talk.html . Here she talks about the concept of intervention changing who a child is (it won't). http://thismom.blogs.com/this_mom/20...thoughts_.html While some of her writing in this (it is older) isn't the words I would select it does ring true with what I've discovered. I think her thoughts have evolved over time as the first blog I posted is newer and phrased differently. But I thought it gives a perspective of what acceptance looks like in some homes, including ours. For both my boys my goal is their happiness. If Andrew has a weakness in a certain area (say critical thinking or anxiety or health or whatever) I'll do what I can to help him work around it. I'll also help him discover and develop his strengths and interests. Same for my typical son. This isn't specific to autism. But RDI addresses the hard parts of autism well for my son. So it has been very worth it here.

The reason I posted that blog is acceptance doesn't mean you don't do things that help your child. RDI is something I am comfortable doing with my typical kid. He doesn't need it; I'm just saying it is a good way to interact for any kid though of course geared toward spectrum things.

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#4 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get what you're saying. I'm so excited for our family--my husband can be hard on Samuel at times. I'm already seeing how RDI will help educate him (the first e-learning slideshows, for example, really explained the neurological piece of the puzzle) so he can better understand Samuel. Thank you so much for sharing your experience; as well as the blog from the other mama. :-)

To sbgrace--I know this is probably going to sound ignorant, but what is VB? I'm pushing for Samuel to get ST, or atleast OT to address his language struggles. He has the pronoun confusion, as well as inverting sentences.

Thanks!

Ladonna
Mama to Samuel (6) Gabriel (4) and Jacee (just born on 12/15/09 7lbs5oz 20.75 in)
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#5 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ladonnaken View Post

To sbgrace--I know this is probably going to sound ignorant, but what is VB? I'm pushing for Samuel to get ST, or atleast OT to address his language struggles. He has the pronoun confusion, as well as inverting sentences.

Thanks!
I'm not sbgrace but I was the one who mentioned VB so I'll explain.

VB is Verbal Behavior. It's like the second generation ABA. It's done in a more naturalistic setting. It's fun and newer. It's not all about doing drills at a table which is what a lot of people mistakenly think ABA is about. Since we started ABA/VB, we've seen an improvement in speech. We still have a ways to go but I can see a point in the road where we can actually have conversations with DD and that's very exciting to me. I think depending on the skill you're trying to teach, a particular therapy may be better. I found for language based skills the repetition from VB was helpful to DD. However VB isn't as good for learning social skills so that's where I think RDI would be helpful. My experience has been that every intervention we have tried for DD has helped her in some way. No one intervention covers all the bases. A customized approach is usually what's called for because ultimately each child is an individual and not a text book case of autism or anything else.

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#6 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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I think that no matter what therapy type you chose to do with your child, its important to have someone who is implementing it that has the same goals and thoughts about Autism that you do.

Good therapies can get ugly with the wrong person implementing them and vice versa.

Goodluck and I hope you find something that works for your child's specific needs.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#7 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladonnaken View Post
I get what you're saying. I'm so excited for our family--my husband can be hard on Samuel at times. I'm already seeing how RDI will help educate him (the first e-learning slideshows, for example, really explained the neurological piece of the puzzle) so he can better understand Samuel. Thank you so much for sharing your experience; as well as the blog from the other mama. :-)

To sbgrace--I know this is probably going to sound ignorant, but what is VB? I'm pushing for Samuel to get ST, or atleast OT to address his language struggles. He has the pronoun confusion, as well as inverting sentences.

Thanks!
The biggest immediate improvement for us was that we learned how to help Andrew feel competent and successful. We learned how to build up trust in us as life guides. RDI does change the family dynamics for the better and it helps you see why your child does things.
As far as pronouns. Andrew struggled with those too. We worked on it and it just wasn't there. Our RDI therapist who is also a speech therapist told me that she sees that kids get that as their self vs. other awareness improves. She told us not to worry about it and when the developmental foundations were there he would get it. What do you know..that is exactly how it happened here. My point is that the mix up is grounded in the autism rather than speech.

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#8 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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I wish we could affored it. I would love RDI and even have a skilled provider in my town. We live kind of far out.

Unfortunately our insurance is crap but our state is trying to pass a bill to make ins. co pay for treatments.


You're so lucky! :
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#9 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sbgrace but I was the one who mentioned VB so I'll explain.

VB is Verbal Behavior. It's like the second generation ABA. It's done in a more naturalistic setting. It's fun and newer.
Oops, sorry about the name mix-up. But thanks for the information--I guess I'm still learning all the lingo. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
The biggest immediate improvement for us was that we learned how to help Andrew feel competent and successful. We learned how to build up trust in us as life guides. RDI does change the family dynamics for the better and it helps you see why your child does things.
As far as pronouns. Andrew struggled with those too. We worked on it and it just wasn't there. Our RDI therapist who is also a speech therapist told me that she sees that kids get that as their self vs. other awareness improves. She told us not to worry about it and when the developmental foundations were there he would get it. What do you know..that is exactly how it happened here. My point is that the mix up is grounded in the autism rather than speech.
That makes total sense. So speech therapy may be a waste of time at this stage, then. Our first RDI meeting is tomorrow :

Ladonna
Mama to Samuel (6) Gabriel (4) and Jacee (just born on 12/15/09 7lbs5oz 20.75 in)
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#10 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish we could affored it. I would love RDI and even have a skilled provider in my town. We live kind of far out.

Unfortunately our insurance is crap but our state is trying to pass a bill to make ins. co pay for treatments.


You're so lucky! :
I hate to hear that--but don't get me started on insurance and our health care

We actually couldn't afford it, either; but our consultant is actually training with us--she'll be under direct supervision, and we get a discount. Yes, I am very grateful!

The day we can all get the proper treatment for our children........

Ladonna
Mama to Samuel (6) Gabriel (4) and Jacee (just born on 12/15/09 7lbs5oz 20.75 in)
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#11 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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If they are offering you Speech Therapy, I would take it unless it's going to cut hours from your RDI. If you can have both, I would ask the Speech Language Pathologist to focus more on language use rather than articulation.

Good luck with the RDI! Let us know how to goes.

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#12 of 13 Old 07-17-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ladonnaken View Post
I hate to hear that--but don't get me started on insurance and our health care

We actually couldn't afford it, either; but our consultant is actually training with us--she'll be under direct supervision, and we get a discount. Yes, I am very grateful!

The day we can all get the proper treatment for our children........
We also can't afford it! And get this...my next door neighbor is an RDI consultant who used to do parent training for the Connection Center in Houston and is now branching off on her own!

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
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#13 of 13 Old 07-18-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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If you have insurance that covers therapies...we are getting RDI through a speech therapy and insurance is covering it (after our 3,000 deductible which we meet through medical expenses anyway). I've heard of people using consultants who are speech therapists, OT's and similar.
We have to travel so RDI is still a big stretch for us financially (but then so is OT..so we quit OT).

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