Tuesday, June 19, 2012

RDI and Star Box

Last week we took a, somewhat impromptu, trip to the Tri-Cities to see our RDI Consultant, Christine. We had been on a bit of a "break" from our program when Christine had unexpected surgery. We kept our activities status quo for a bit and then got back in contact as she was feeling better.

Christine had planned on making a visit to our neck of the woods this time, but with some scheduling conflicts we decided a few days ahead of time to head down her way. Both Morgan and Piper LOVE visiting "the hotel" and sleeping in their peapods (mini tents). They were so excited to make the trip!

We have been in a phase of our program where Morgan, David and I were all assessed on our skills and current status of many things such as, our mental health, obstacles that may be in the way of making progress, as well as Morgan's areas of "deficit". I know that terms sounds odd, but this is something you hear a lot when kids with autism are evaluated. Common areas of deficit are social skills (can be a wide range), referencing, joint attention, etc. It is different for every kid. A bit of great news is that Christine didn't see any "outside" areas that needed to be addressed with additional therapies. Some kids need help from an Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapist for specific issues that can be obstacles to progress in RDI. Sometimes these things can show up along the way, but for new we are grateful to not have to consider this.

I also fully appreciate how this program really takes into consideration of the whole family, not just the child with autism. Since it is to be parent led, we need to be in a place where we are able to guide Morgan in the optimum way to help her make progress.

When we met with Christine she gave us a report that included her assessments in all these areas. We reviewed videos that had been previously recorded and discussed the positives and negatives. In the end we received our first three goals. We scheduled meetings through the end of July and are taking new steps forward. David and I have quite a bit of homework to do on our own in addition to working with Morgan. It's going to be busy summer in so many ways!

The picture above is on our scheduled stop at Starbucks on the way home from the Tri-Cities. Morgan refers to this lovely place as "Star Box." Usually the girls get a treat of pink donuts...but that day they didn't have them, so they chose to share a chocolate chunk cookie (see Piper's right hand). Happy girls, make happy car trips!

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