Key to RDI is developing a Guided Participation Relationship between the parent and child. The GPR is the primary means by which parents raise their children and equip them to deal with life and impart their culture to them. Through a GPR with your child, you work on the different objectives and developmental stages of RDI.
Barbara Rogoff’s book, Apprenticeship in Thinking, provides a thorough explanation of how GPR occurs across cultures and its components. It was an excellent read that made me think analytically about this essential area that my son had missed.
So that’s where we would like to be, but we’re not. Common to many children on the autism spectrum, my son, while loving and social, feels he must retain control of his environment to prevent unpleasant surprises and manage his inputs. It’s probably a bit more complicated than that but that is part of it.
His need for rigid control of us and his environment is incompatible with a GPR with us. In a webinar I attended, Dr. Gutstein, the founder of RDI, described the process of getting to a GPR as putting the child in the most optimal situation for guiding and figuring out what is getting in the way (my paraphrase). Continue reading