Activities can be an important part of any autism treatment model, but it is the “why” behind the activity that translates to whether or not you are just taking up time, or working towards growth.

Within the RDI Model, we use everyday activities to re-learn the Guiding Relationship that was lost in a child with ASD. It is impossible for a child that is cut off from the guiding relationship to be able to achieve self-growth. The child no longer has the motivation to be able to learn about their world and can not understand how to learn about the world through the eyes of their guide (parent)

Always keep in mind that RDI activities you need to focus on are the “goal beneath the goal”. The activity provides the backdrop or vehicle for you to work on co-regulation, referencing, experience sharing or whatever with your child. The activity is not your ultimate goal (if he does this he is better!) but rather the activity is the path to attaining our true long-term goals.

By the parent learning how to adjust their activities with their child, giving them a more competent role so that they can challenge them in manageable ways, the children start to develop a greater sense of competency. And competency can be motivating!

I often invite people to think about what they are competent at and how motivated they are to do that. Competency breeds motivation, and with that children start to develop a sense of who they are and how they fit into the world.

Remember, it is through the relationship that we help the children start to develop, the activities are only the gateway.