1. My child was just diagnosed with autism, now what?
No one hopes to receive a diagnosis of autism, pdd-nos, or Asperger’s for their child. Even if that diagnosis is confirming something that you suspected, it is a difficult process. After getting a diagnosis, you may feel confused and discouraged by the lack of direction and overwhelming amount of information on the Internet. You may not feel that you understand what the label means for your child and your family. You may need some time to grieve. Then the process of educating yourself about autism and what you can do to help your child can begin. You will want to investigate local and national autism society support, large groups like AutismSpeaks, and local resources including a Developmental Pediatrician, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Occupational Therapist.
2. So what is autism?
Autism is a complex neurological condition that affects the way the child experiences the world, thinks, communicates and forms relationships. Autism changes how the brain wires itself to form collaborative brain connections. Having autism unfortunately means the child is also more susceptible to other conditions, such as speech and language disorder, sensory processing deficits, gut issues, sleep issues and anxiety.
3. What is the cause of autism?
The answer to this remains unknown, although a lot of research to find the cause is underway.
4. What is the cure for autism?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for autism. Many different types of therapies and treatments address the disorders that accompany autism. Examples include: speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, medications and specialized diets. While these interventions are often helpful for the co-occurring conditions, none of these directly address the brain’s ability to wire itself correctly.
5. What is the good news?
The good news is that the human mind has an incredible ability to grow connections and change. Our brains continue to grow and re-wire themselves throughout a lifespan. The human brain changes through experience and relationships with others. The brain is an “experience-dependent organ.” This holds true for people who have autism. People with autism have the ability to create neural connections that may have been skipped during the early development of their brains.
6. How can this “re-wiring” take place if my child has autism?
Parents can learn to carefully and systematically re-expose their child’s brain to crucial developmental building blocks.
7. What is the RDI™ Program?
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI™) is a program designed to educate and coach parents through the process of becoming an effective guide for their child’s cognition. The RDI™ Program empowers parents to understand the disorder of autism, and effectively address it by re-exposing their child’s brain to the developmental milestone for cognition. The RDI™ Program provides parents with specific objectives and strategies to be the most influential force on their child’s ability to think.
8. How does RDI™ differ from other programs out there?
The RDI™ Program:
- Educates and empowers parents to create profound changes in their child.
- Provides a consultative model that puts parents in their rightful role as guides to their children. This significantly reduces the cost of treatment. Parents spend the most time around their children – not therapists!
- Uses an expansive and revolutionary series of objectives for parents and children. These objectives are based on decades of researched literature into how children develop through the guidance of their parents. These objectives help parents to systematically move children along the path of typical development.
- Uses quality of life outcomes to measure effectiveness. For example, meaningful relationships and rewarding employment, and thoughtful communication.
- Is based on current research in the fields of autism, human development and the brain.
- Balances treatment planning by considering autism as well as other conditions or obstacles. RDI™ also takes the needs of the family into account.
- Restores natural family life. Families experience a good quality of life while learning to make remediation of autism a part of their everyday life.
- Continuously evolves to reflect new research and information. This ensures that the program remains cutting-edge and relevant over time.
- Uses an innovative web-based system called the RDI™-OS. This system provides parents access to program information, communication with their consultant, video footage and much more on a continuous basis.
9. Is RDI™ Expensive?
RDI™ follows the old saying: “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing pole and feed him for a lifetime.” Because the RDI™ Program educates and coaches parents on how to specifically address autism in their child, it is highly cost effective. For specific pricing, please contact us directly.
10. How does the RDI™ Program work through Pathways Treatment Center?
At Pathways, we have two Certified RDI™ Consultants. Amy Cameron is a Speech and Language Pathologist as well, and Anat Shemer’s background is in Occupational Therapy. We offer full RDI™ Programs, including parent consultation and coaching sessions, video tape reviews, group support and educational meetings, school consultations and developmental assessments. For specific pricing, please contact us directly.