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ABA is the most prominent autism therapy
I was doing some quick Google research recently trying to find information on autism therapies in my area (Ontario, Canada) that are NOT ABA – or other types of behavioural treatment. It was disappointing. The results can lead you to believe that the only type of treatment for your child is behavioural treatment, a concept I find discouraging because I have devoted my life to helping families find hope beyond autism using an intervention called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI).
Testing different autism interventions
As the mother of two children with special needs, I have tried many various therapies and protocols over the years. I learned that if I tried to do too many things at one time I couldn’t do any one of them very well and ended up feeling pretty incompetent. I know firsthand how it feels to have sleepless nights worrying about my kid’s future, fuming over insensitive comments from educators or neighbors and experiencing the pain and grief that rises to the surface when watching typical kids effortlessly play or learn.
I tried to be my son’s therapist but what I truly wanted to be was mommy. At the same time, I didn’t want to be overly reliant on other professionals to “cure” my kids. That was too scary, felt too dependent. I wanted to know the things I needed to know to make the difference in my kid’s lives. That is when I found RDI.
Relationship is key!
RDI is different because it gives power back to the parent. Instead of focusing on rote-memorization and scripting (teaching your child to respond with a scripted answer), it relies heavily on repairing the breakdown of the parent/child Guiding Relationship in order to for your child to develop what we call Dynamic Intelligence (the ability to respond fluidly within a changing dynamic environment).
Parents, don’t give up hope! If you are stuck in your treatment plan and feel like your child has reached the limit of what ABA, IBA or other behavioral treatment models have to offer, I invite you to take a look at RDI.