We had some difficulty getting a diagnosis for our 8 year old son when we went for the Ed. Psych testing. the Psychologist actually said he showed no evidence of ASD or PSDD, but thankfully suggested an OT (Occupational Therapy) assessment. The OT did a very thorough assessment and reported that another Psychologist more specialized in ASD should look at our son again. With this further assessment (by now he was 9), he was given the High Functioning ASD diagnosis. We expected some guidance and direction from the well known Psychologist, but were given a photocopied brochure of a company which coordinates behaviour practitioners (Applied Behaviour Analysis).
It was during a general “Case Management for Your Child” seminar a few months later, that we heard the presenter (MD with a child on the spectrum) give some information on RDI. We were immediately interested, although we knew very little about it. We sensed that this was something that could make a huge difference in our lives from the inside out, rather than outside in. We knew we had to work with our son’s neurology and get at the cause of the deficits, not just put a behaviour band aid on the problem. Around his 10th birthday we started to research RDI and got very excited by what we found out. We started to use the principles from Drs. Gutstein/Sheeley’s books and website ourselves first and enrolled in whatever training was available. The best consultant available to us was in Seattle, so we travelled there for an assessment and training. Happily, Blair Armstrong was in the process of getting certified that year and we were able to transfer over and work with him locally.
Although we did make progress on our own right from our first attempts with RDI principles, we have found that our son has really jumped ahead having a local consultant available to teach Mom and Dad! Blair has been such a great support to our family and we would highly recommend him. Our son has just turned 14 years old and we are constantly amazing by how much more “normal” he is becoming. He has always been a social guy, but now he is an appropriately social guy with many different friends, interests and activities (i.e. swimming, chess club, Youth Group, guitar lessons, etc.) He is more independent and doesn’t need us watching him every minute to make sure he is staying in the “appropriate zone”. Part of our success with RDI has been homeschooling, which has given us more time to do RDI with him and more control of making positive memories for him to build on. Blair has helped us stayed focused on the priorities in our son’s development and that has been paying off bigtime in the last year.
– S & S, Chilliwack B.C.