Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) is a parent-based comprehensive treatment program providing parents with the necessary tools to effectively facilitate their child’s development.

Therapy Details

The development of RDI® was based on a comprehensive review of research in typical development, autism, autism treatments, communications theory, systems theory, cultural and anthropology research, psychotherapy, brain development and function, developmental psychology and more. The treatment of autism through RDI® follows the path of typical development and is achieved through structured ‘lab times’ and the practice of the RDI® principles and techniques throughout the daily activities of life. Each program is individually constructed for the child’s specific needs in order to decrease the child’s obstacles and utilize their strengths to develop meaningful relationships, cognitive flexibility and relative information processing. Parents function as the primary interventionists with their children under the direction of a RDI® Program Certified Consultant. Consultations vary in the form of video analysis, phone consultations, live demonstrations, home visits and peer dyads.

What is RDI® –

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  • RDI® is a parent-based comprehensive treatment program providing parents with the necessary tools to effectively facilitate their child’s development. Parents learn how to systematically adjust their interactions to create very specific experiences for the brain. The brain is an experience-dependent organism. Thus, the work parents are doing has the potential to change the neurology of the brain (how one perceives and processes information).
  • RDI® is based on the most current understandings of how the brain works. Decades of research in the area of typical development, neurology, learning, and neurodevelopmental disorders has led us understand MORE about how the brain processes information. We use what we know about the brain today vs what we knew about the brain DECADES ago.
  • RDI® is developmental & systematic. Using the most current understandings of the brain, typical development, and atypical development, RDI outlines a sequence for how parents can guide their child’s learning. Through a comprehensive assessment process we begin at the edge of each child’s abilities and then continually raise the bar. Our goal is for parents to become very mindful about what they are doing and WHY in order to transfer the responsibility for thinking over to their child.
  • RDI® is aimed at remediation, not compensation. It has been the practice of most to simply reduce the negative behaviors while simultaneously increasing the number of positive skills. At DTS, we strive to look beyond the symptoms and focus on clarifying the CORE issues. RDI is a systematic approach to remediating the core issues causing the child’s difficulties in engaging in the learning process.
  • RDI® is effective! Families experience real change in their quality of life and the child makes progress across developmental domains.


Relationship Development Intervention is appropriate if you want to improve your child’s…

  • Quality of life
  • Early Social-Communicative Development
  • Availability and Connectedness
  • Physical Regulation
  • Behavior Management
  • Meaningful communication
  • Later Social – Communicative Development
  • Emotional regulation
  • Motivation to participate in interactions & experiences
  • Mental engagement
  • “Gray Thinking” versus “Black and White”
  • Give-and take (Reciprocal) relationships
  • Personal connection to those around him/her


Relationship Development Intervention might also be appropriate regardless of your child’s diagnosis (or lack there of) if you, as a parent or guardian, feel you would benefit from…

  • Systematic feedback regarding your interactions with your child
  • Developmental guidance aimed at facilitating natural development and therefore reducing overall family anxiety, stress, conflict, and/or frustration
  • A stronger connection with your child
  • Support in guiding your child’s development
  • Stronger competence as a parent to make the small adjustments necessary to help your child take on more responsibility within your interactions to maintain the back and forth of shared experiences
  • Strategies to effectively pace your interactions with your child in order to structure opportunities for optimal development to take place