Relationship Developmental Intervention

RDI stands for Relationship Developmental Intervention. It is a cognitive-developmental based treatment program, designed to remediate developmental difficulties frequently seen in children with diagnosis of Autism, Attention Deficits, and other developmental challenges.Through a RDI consultant, parents will learn step by step, developmentally appropriate ways to guide and support their children so that their children can learn to engage successfully and form reciprocal relationship with others. RDI program addresses core developmental areas so that the child can develop relationship based skills. These include motivation, communication, emotional regulation, episodic memory, appropriate attention-shifting, self awareness, appraisal, and executive function (flexible thinking and problem solving).

  • Who is it for? Families and children/individuals struggling with: – Autism, including Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s syndrome. – ADHD or ADD – Tourette Syndrome – Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • How often/how long will my child need RDI? RDI is a consultant-parent led program and has a well-established online system for the consultant and parents to communicate, and for parents to find related resources.

A family typically will meet with their RDI certified consultant first to initiate their RDI evaluation and program-goal development stage. The family will then meet with the consultant on a regular basis, usually every week or bi-weekly as they work on their family goals with their children. Sometimes, for certain families due to time or geographical constraints, the consultant may meet with the family daily for a period of 1-2 weeks to establish their RDI program. The consultant and family then stay in touch using the online system for an agreed period of time until they meet in person again. As RDI is a relationship based approach, which takes time, a measure of 18 months is recommended. Some families later are able to adopt RDI into their life style and using it as a mindful way to interact and guide their children.

  • Yichien’s Comments RDI is one of the few developmental based treatment programs for children struggling Autism. It addresses the key deficits in Autism, instead of treating just the symptoms or other co-occurring problems.

Based on my professional knowledge and experience, all children will benefit from RDI approach to cultivate relationship based skills, both typically developing and those struggling with Autism and ADHD. It is a commitment intensive treatment approach, and hence, some parents and families find it challenging to participate. RDI consultants are trained to support the parents and are flexible in helping parents work through their struggles in regards to guiding their children. An open and trusting relationship between the RDI consultant and the family is crucial and the reward is immense. To find out more about RDI, see