Tuesday, June 05, 2007

report on our latest RDA

We've spent the better part of the past week or so driving back and forth across the state to meet with our RDI Program Certified Consultant so that she could perform an RDA (Relationship Development Assessment) on Jacob. It was time to get an "official" view on where we're at with RDI, especially in terms of the new stages/objectives, and to make sure there aren't any holes that need patching.

We did, in fact, find a "hole", back in Stage 2. Which, although that might sound a little depressing given that we were starting to look at Stage 6, was actually good news -- it explained some of the subtle differences we were seeing in several stages worth of objectives that he'd pretty much mastered, but just weren't quite where they needed to ideally be. The Stage 2 objective we're missing has to do with him caring about what I think of his ideas. This is something that will stand in his way of being able to truly collaborate -- without caring about what his partner on a project thinks about his idea, there is no motivation for him to negotiate with his partner to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

In Jacob's case, this presented itself as him being too willing to just adopt whatever the partner (whether it be me or our consultant) suggested, even if it meant abandoning his idea altogether. The effect percolates up through many of the objectives above this stage, and certainly will prevent him from developing proper collaboration skills. So, obviously, it needs to be worked on prior to anything else.

Our consultant also assigned us a couple of other objectives (stage 5) that are in need of work, and are convenient to work on at the same time as the Stage 2 objective above. They also build on laying the groundwork for collaboration. In addition, there are a couple of Stage 4 objectives that we're going to keep in mind to make sure that filling in that Stage 2 hole will result in firming up of those objectives as well.

Since I'm desiring a couple months to slow down and actually have a break, we're just going to focus on activities that target these objectives through the summer months, and I'll put off learning about new objectives until the fall. By the time he masters what we're now working on, he should be ready to start working in a dyad (with an equally matched partner), which will add a whole new dimension to our RDI program. And with the new RDI Operating System coming on board at some point this summer, I'll have enough things to learn at the technical end of things to keep me busy for a bit.

So, in short, Jacob's made remarkable progress since our last RDA (when I was fretting over the fact that he couldn't even make the simplest of choices -- wow, but we've come a long way!). But he's still got Autism, even if nobody outside of an RDA session could identify it as such. And so our work continues.


At 9:33 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Congrats to Jacob to his great progress!! Funny I was just thinking where you guys are at in RDI.We are still stage 4 but I think we are reaching the end of it. It interesting that the stage 2 objective you mentioned is now in stage 2, I remember working on that in stage 7 or 8 in the old sytem.Cant wait to hear about the dyad when yopu guys are ready!!We are working on follow the leader kind of activities, pretty simple stuff.....Its really slow , but I dont care that much since in "real Life" Dessi made huge jums with peers , he is really corking on co-regulation "on his own". We havnt worked on that yet in the dyad.Good luck

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Christine said...

I'm not sure if I've said this before but reading about Jacob's fantastic progress really keeps me going sometimes. Thanks so much for this blog! And congrats to both you and Jacob.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger sara said...

I am just beginning this journey with my 15 month old son. After doing floortime for a year I know that we need rdi to get us further. And I am so excited to begin. I read your blog and am so inspired and hopeful that someday we can be where you and Jacob are.

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous poohder2005 said...

Shelley, how are going to spotlight this new stage 2 objective? We have a similiar RDI hole? Rhonda

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love to hear about jacob's progress. it's so inspiring!!


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