You’re parents that want to take the lead in your child’s ASD treatment. You desperately want to feel competent at home, and you don’t want to pass your child off to someone else, leaving you out of the equation. An RDI Program may be what you’ve been looking for.
How will an RDI Program help you and your family?
- You will understand exactly why your daily life is so challenging, exactly how autism has taken your child from you, and how we will go about systematlcally reversing the situation.
- You will have a personalized road map that will finally give you back the helm, reduce out-of-control behaviour; and allow you to enjoy a more harmonious home life.
- You will finally feel in sync with your child and know how to manage when problems arise.
- You will be amazed as you watch your child’s social and emotional growth unfold as a result of your efforts.
- You will have an experienced and highly trained coach that understands your frustrations, has lived through extreme challenges and has brought many grateful families back “from the brink!”
My clients inevitably tell me that the first few months of parent training would benefit all families – not just those struggling with ASD. This is absolutely true. Parent Training restores a healthy parent-child dynamic and rebuilds a family’s structure from the ground up.
Just as it’s beneficial to have a trainer at the gym, having a Certified RDI Consultant in your corner is no different. All parents feel like their family dynamics are off kilter at some point. However, when you’re dealing with neuro-developmental disorders (including ADD/ADHD) the picture becomes far more complex. No matter how well-read, patient or well-intended you may be – parenting a child with a neuro-developmental disorder leaves parents feeling hopeless and helpless … and it’s not your fault!
Gradual Learning and Skill Building
Each and every piece of learning in Parent Training – both theoretical and practical – builds on the previous. Parents develop a clear understanding of their situation, how it came to be, and how as a team, we will get the family ship back on course. Together, we will address numerous aspects of life. To name just a few … quieting your family’s schedule to slow your pace, understanding your parenting style(s), parent and child strengths and obstacles, and addressing self care – all with the goal of moving parents toward the being on the same page and with consistent goals. Challenges begin to make sense – and solutions bring about positive change. This stage of parent training sets the compass in the right direction, and third party assistance is immensely helpful.
Empowering parents to manage successfully
So what’s next? Once the family ship is at least pointed in the right direction, our goal is to put the helm directly back into the rightful hands of the co-captains! Do you remember the carnival game, “Whack a Mole” in which you “whack a mole” only to have two pop up? The mix of anxious children, stressed-out parents and autism is enough to send anyone to the brink. I coach parents to prioritize limits, and to learn how to set and enforce them clearly and consistently with their children. Aggression, challenging behaviour and unhealthy patterns are addressed. Parents learn strategies for when their child is unco-operative, how to manage play dates, holidays and other stressful situations. By the time these items have been crossed off the list, the family ship is back on course and the skies have parted!
Next parents learn how to involve their child in simple, household activities. Children, who previously responded fearfully to parents’ attempts to engage them at home, begin to experience trust and feelings of competence. The more the child experience feelings of competence, the more he/she is motivated to participate and interact with parents. This is the “magic moment” when parents themselves feel confident in being able to guide their child and know what to do when things go “south!”
During this stage, parents also learn how to slow their communicative pace and stay mentally “one step ahead” of their child; an essential aspect of guiding. They learn to weave in amplified nonverbal communication, which increases social referencing and builds the foundation for self awareness, problem solving and understanding the emotional state of parents and others. All-in-all, by this stage, co-captains have cultivated a firm but loving environment, and have deck hands that are for the most part eager to chip in. After all, our goal is not only to get your own ship in order, but eventually to enable your children to become captains of their own ship! All of this takes place over the course of a few months, during bi-weekly sessions – either in person, by phone or via Skype – and at a pace that is manageable. In between, parents have “homework” assignments which move them, bit by bit, toward a happier and healthier family life. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!
For a complementary session to see if your family is a good fit, email me at [email protected].