Wendy Groiss

Autism Consultant, Educator & Registered Clinical Counsellor

Frequently Asked Questions about RDI


What Is RDI?

RDI is an innovative, research based therapeutic intervention that was created, and continues to be influenced, by the research of Dr. Steven Gutstein, an internationally renowned researcher and clinical pioneer in the field of autism and developmental disabilities. 

How Will RDI Help You Support Your Child’s Development?

RDI empowers parents. RDI will empower you. RDI will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a powerful change agent in your child’s life. RDI will teach you how to structure developmentally appropriate ‘just right ‘social and cognitive learning experiences for your child and will teach you how to guide your child’s growth and mental development in these experiences.

How Will RDI Benefit My Child?

RDI will help your child develop important mental processes. The guided, ‘just right’ learning engagements that I will help you structure for your child will help them develop the mental processes that support social, emotional and cognitive growth. 

Will RDI Help My Child Play with Other Children More Successfully?

Yes, RDI will help your child develop many of the mental processes and abilities that support successful peer play. 

  • The ability to shift attention.
  • The ability to respond more spontaneously and more successfully in an improvised, flexible manner to nonverbal and verbal communication.
  • The ability to coordinate one’s thoughts, actions and words with a partner‘s thoughts, actions and words.
  • The ability to notice and repair communication breakdowns.
  • The ability to understand the perspective of others.
  • The ability to collaborate.

Will RDI Help My Child Learn to Handle Change More Confidently and More Comfortably?

Yes, RDI will help your child develop personal agency and a growth seeking mindset.  A growth seeking mindset will support the development of curiosity. A child who develops a sense of agency and possesses a growth seeking mindset will become more interested in novelty and will develop the intrinsic drive and motivation to engage with new challenges. 

Will RDI Help My Child Develop Greater Regulation?

Yes, RDI will help your child develop greater self-regulatory ability.

RDI will teach you how to develop the mental processes that support the development of independent self-regulation. 

RDI will teach you about the process of co-regulation and help you structure and successfully engage your child in the precursor co-regulatory activities that support the development of self-regulation.

Children are not born with the ability to self-regulate. Children learn self-regulation through the process of co-regulation. 

Children need to be able to participate successfully in co-regulatory joint activities with their parents before they can learn to self-regulate.  Co-regulatory joint activity requires a parent and a child to make self-regulatory adjustments to one another. It is through this process of co-regulatory mutual adjustment that self-regulatory control and independent self-regulation develops

As your RDI consultant, I will help you structure targeted joint parent-child learning engagements that are developmentally appropriate, authentic and meaningful.             `

As your RDI consultant I will help you identify your child’s learning ‘edge’ and help you as you strive to present your child with ‘just the right amount’ of challenge.

How RDI Works

I will ask you to video some of your interactions with your child, and we will review these video clips together in a video conference call each week. I will help you address obstacles in the engagement and suggest possible activity engagements for you to try out. I will also come and observe some of the activities you are doing with your child in your home when possible and also visit and try to engage with your child myself.

Your individualized program will change as your child’s competency grows. Your goals will change. You will learn how to effectively add increased level of challenge to the joint learning engagements you are creating for your child.

The joint activities that you and your child participate in together will need to evolve and change. This will be very important. The brain changes when it encounters challenge. Research has shown that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories.

To grow and develop more sophisticated mental processes, a child must encounter mental challenges that they cannot immediately solve. These challenges must be ‘just right’ challenges however. Just right challenges will be challenges that fall within your child’s zone of proximal development. Just right challenges will be challenges you’re your child can ultimately learn to resolve. These challenges will lie at the edge of will be just a little beyond their current state of competency.

To learn more about how the RDI Model can work for your family, contact me here.

I work with families at a distance, so give me a call to get started today!

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