I have been working as a behaviour interventionist with ABA therapy for the past two years. Before this I worked in various capacities with individuals affected by Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and various other neurodevelopment disabilities.
There are many things I love about my job, but as I write this three main things stand out to me.
The first is seeing a child master a skill. They begin smiling and I can see the pride they have in their accomplishment. After spending endless hours on this task, they finally get it and I feel their excitement too! All of their hard work and frustration has resulted in success. These small successes build a child’s confidence and all the pieces begin fitting into place.
The second thing I love about my job is watching these children grow and develop their strengths. Eventually they can take these skills out of the therapy room and apply them to real world situations. Seeing a child learn to self-regulate on their own, learn how to ask for help, and socialize with their peers is always rewarding.
The third thing I love about my job is when I can catch these important moments on camera to show parents how well their child is doing. These moment are always received with pride and excitement because no matter how much they want their child to succeed, it seems that the fear their child won’t succeed gets lost in all the chaos. Seeing a parent miss out on important moments in their child’s development is what led me to RDI™.
Throughout my work I have heard parents say that they wish they could do more for their child and be more involved in their child’s therapy programs. They often expressed feelings of helplessness, fear, despair, and isolation. They did not know what they, themselves, could do for their child because everything was in the hands of various professionals. They did not know if their child would be successful and have quality of live as they got older. Unless they knew other families going through the same thing, they felt that they were alone on this journey.
Through RDI™, parents are taught to become their child’s guide. This guiding relationship provides the child with safe and challenging opportunities for mental and self growth. It is crucial for the development of knowledge, motivation, and the experience of self. Through the guiding relationship, children learn about situations and are set up for success in difficult situations. They are able to have meaningful relationships and participate in their culture. RDI™ teaches the parents the skills they need to help their child, and eventually they feel empowered because of the influence they have in their child's development. The feelings of helplessness and isolation fade away.
RDI™ is not a therapy program. It is a parent and family remediation program that teaches individuals on the spectrum how to make and maintain relationships. It provides opportunities to develop skills that a child with autism may be lacking such as flexible thinking, problem solving, emotional regulation, and dynamic intelligence. Programs occurs through daily activities that are guided by the parent. These activities teach the child to respond in more flexible ways that allow them to create memories and develop feelings of competence. They will be able to access these memories in more dynamic and complex environments, allowing them to be successful in all types of situations.
Spectating the spectrum - insights into autism
I write these blog posts as an outsider looking in. I am not an individual with autism, rather I am a professional that is inspired daily by my clients. I hope to share the the inspiring, educational, humorous, and tragic stories I have experienced in my daily work.