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Relationship Development Intervention™ (RDI®)






Relationship Development Intervention™ (RDI®) is a neuro-psycho-social intervention that provides education, training and guided support to parents and individuals who have: autism spectrum disorders, executive functioning disorders, and to parents who desire to learn about social / emotional development and parenting education. RDI was developed by renowned clinical psychologists Dr. Steven Gutstein and Dr. Rachelle Sheely and their team of consultants in Houston, Texas. RDI programs represent the latest approach to treatment of developmental issues based on the latest scientific research into the human brain.



RDI is a significant departure from traditional ASD interventions, and does not simply seek to mask the condition with scripted conversations or rehearsed behaviors, but actually makes neuro-cognitive changes over time that provide the individual with the skills needed to navigate life’s challenges on their own.  By developing this capacity for dynamic thinking we open the door to the possibility of a greater quality of life, one that includes: reciprocal communication, confident indepedent living, prolonged relationships, and meaningful employment.


RDI Philosophy
The good news: Brains change throughout life! The brain is a dynamic entity. Neurologists agree that the brain develops the potential for rapidly making different kinds of connections as needed, based on the types of challenges presented. Through careful, systematic remediation, we can help the brain develop more normally.




Remediation implies that we are embarked on a long-term marathon, not a sprint; a systematic process of correcting deficits to the point where they no longer constitute obstacles to reaching one’s potential and attaining a quality of life. Remediation provides a second chance to master areas where developmental disability would otherwise lead to life-long marginalization and failure. When we remediate, we purposely focus on the person’s greatest areas of weakness. On a neural level, remediation in RDI means deliberately developing the brain’s capacity for integration and productive neural collaboration. RDI is an intervention dedicated to treating the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders, PDD-NOS, executive functioning disorders, and other developmental delays. Prior to beginning, families are extensively assessed and provided with specific tools and objectives to remediate (treat until they are no longer deficits) the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Below is a brief list of the core deficits that are treated. 



  1. Dynamic Analysis: The process of evaluating information in our environment on a moment-to-moment basis. Involves picking out the important features and placing less emphasis on peripheral aspects of the environment or interaction. "Good enough" thinking is a major focus of dynamic analysis and requires one to accept less than perfection. 
  2. Experience Sharing: The goal of most human communication is to share observations, ideas, thoughts, memories, plans, perspectives and predictions with another person. Experience sharing involves combining something from two people in order to create something new. In addition, it calls for both people to have the desire to know something about, or share with, another person. Experience sharing communication does not require a specific response but rather, encourages flexible thinking and invites another person to reciprocate. 
  3. Episodic Memory: A representation we form of an event in our lives, strongly anchored by an emotional appraisal of that episode, which we use to form a sense of ourselves and to anticipate the future. The critical component is that the event and meaning are organized around an emotional experience. 
  4. Creative, Flexible Problem-Solving: Calls for the ongoing monitoring of a problem and altering solutions based on current effectiveness. In addition, a person can rapidly adjust to circumstances that suddenly change is able to think in a relative manner depending on the circumstance and is capable of managing uncertainty and the anxiety that accompanies it. 
  5. Self-awareness: Developing a coherent sense of self that is unique and continues to grow. This self becomes the primary organizing principle for appraisal and evaluation. Self-awareness encompasses behavior regulation, self-evaluation and emotional regulation.


Consultants provide support and training that is carefully staged and tailored to you, your level of readiness, learning style, unique culture and your real-life circumstances.




The RDI program provides a step-by-step, individualized manageable approach for those engaged on the front lines of helping children and adults develop the powerful mental processing and sophisticated neural collaboration needed to succeed in 21st century environments. RDI® programs are designed so each learner can begin and progress at his or her own level of readiness.

Visit RDIConnect,  for more information.