Archive for the ‘RDI’ Category

RDI training continues…Loss of Resilience!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

How many of you out there have done this training already?  Please encourage me to persist!!  hahaha!

Seriously though, this week we learned about the Breakdown of the Guided Participation Relationship between the parent and the child.  I just want all of you to know how fascinating this is to me.  All behaviors in the/my child are the direct result of the loss of resilience.  …(this is key here!!!)

Here is the definition from the dictionary…

Resilience: 1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

(Sounds like me and Sam at the mall 2 saturdays before Christmas of 98–a tantrum that has been written down in history!  I sill remember the stares from the other mothers who could control their children!)

Basically, as parents, we are responsible for developing resilience in our children by ” stressing” them with new situations as a part of growing up.  But, we can not stress our child too far, just far enough to learn, then give them a safe place to escape back to.  If we push too far and too fast, we get a meltdown.  All children learn by this relationship between parent and child.  You see, the alternating between STRESS and SAFETY builds resilience in your child.  They no longer have to fear change because they KNOW that they can survive or “adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

In the child with ASD, this relationship tends to breaks down early because the slightest stress will trigger a meltdown.  The child will “escape” the stressful situation by averting his eyes, rocking, or other stim.  The child, then, is fearful to try anything new in order to reduce stress.  Any input from a parent my be stressful at this point and the child may “cut out” or limit contact with us.   All this leads to no interactive learning and no Dynamic Intelligence being developed.  This leads to underdevelopment of the brain in certain areas which is termed Neuronal Underconnectivity!  Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Neuronal Underconnectivity on the brain level equals poor resilience on the social level.  This leads to dependence on Static Intelligence such as learning words, scripting actions or conversations, forcing eye contact at certain times etc…  So, the child has a hard time putting all these bits of static knowledge together when faced with a new situation.  If a new situation occurs, then the child gets stressed, which leads to rocking, stimming, humming, biting fingernails, or possibly a full fledged meltdown!

The bottom line is this: Restore the parent-child guided relationship, and navigate through a series of stress-coping real life situations and voila!  …resilience is restored to your child who can now navigate alone through life’s unknown turmoil…Maybe have a friend, or drive a car, hold a job, go to college, or gasp…even get married!  The end goal is to make your child be the best that he/she can be, what ever level of functioning that is.

The end goal sounds delightful, but you and I know that there is a lot of work required to restore resilience.  I will tell you this…Shoot for the stars!  If you only land on the Moon, it is still better than where you started!

Ever the Optimist,

Your Dr. GF

RDI parent training continues!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Below is my RDI update/ lesson plan for the week…

1. Am I ready to take the necessary steps to help my child, even if it is difficult?  YES!

2. I must know that I have failed as a parent because I do not have the needed “tools” for my special needs child.  YES, I GET THAT!  I AM ALL OUT OF IDEAS NOW AND AM NOW GETTING HELP FROM AN EXPERT!


4. Sam has learned static skills (like using the potty and zipping his zipper).  Now, he must learn to be dynamic!  I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

Yours, Dr. Girlfriend

Parent Training for RDI

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Wow…Who knew “parent training” would take so long?

Well, I am here to report on our RDI progress, and yes, I am like anyone else…I want instant results instantly!  Too bad, I must get trained first..hahaha!

We have signed up and paid our first installment.  We registered and paid for the OS (operating system) and we have completed our first assignment!  This assignment was informative and very relevant as the title was Quality of Life.  This assignment  was a 30 min video on what were the predictors of a high quality of life followed by a quiz.  The million dollar question was..does IQ OR early speech OR early intervention predict a better quality of life for our Spectrum children?  The answer is NO!!! None of these predict anything about the quality of life for our kids!

The quality of life for all children of the Autistic Spectrum was poor, whether the IQ was 70 or 150 OR the speech was normal in development or late, OR despite early interventions vs. no interventions.  In fact, most research shows that less than 10% of Spectrum Adults have friends, jobs or live independently, even if they managed to graduate from college.  Spectrum kids want the same things out of life that neurotypical kids want…despite that others may think they are happy to be an “island”.

The key was that all children on the Spectrum have Static IQ rather than Dynamic IQ.  Our kids may acquire static knowledge–like facts–but this does not improve their life or future happiness.  Basically, our children have trouble making and keeping friends, finding and keeping jobs, and living independently because they are too inflexible in their approach to life…IE poor problem solving skills.

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced this daily with my child.  He has rigid thinking and when interacting with his siblings, he does not “listen” or take advise or consider their opinions.  I see how this lack of DYNAMIC IQ would make others not want to be his friend or work on a project with him.  I can see how employers would want to hire a problem solver, and not someone who can not be a team player, while making co workers mad.

If RDI can help Sam acquire the skill of Dynamic Thinking,I will be impressed!  I will personally thank Dr. Gutstein.

More later!

Your Dr. Girlfriend,


Started RDI

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Hello everyone!

We started RDI this week.  we had our first session with Jennifer Perry, who is our local RDI consultant.  We spent almost 2 hours in this session.  My husband and I took turns doing “group projects” together with Sam while we were being video taped.  We played with a slinky, beat rhythms on drums and put puzzles together.  Sandy and Sam tossed a ball, which turned into dodge ball, and built a house out of index cards and tape.

Later, Jennifer will review the video and ummmm..sort of “rate” Sam on his social skills and dynamic thinking.  Then we’ll get to work on his weak ares..I guess!

More later!

About Sam

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Sam Duke’s Time line

November 22, 1995–normal birth

March, 2000, age 4 –Referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by preschool teachers for extreme activity, impulsive behavior especially in large groups, speaking out of turn, avoiding eye contact, transition difficulties, and gross and fine motor skill delays.

Found to be with in normal limits.

March 11. 2002, age 6–referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by kindergarten teacher to assist behavior control, especially with self control, over-activity, intense tantrums and inability to coordinate with classmates.

Found to have ADHD, Anxiety, and Gifted Intelligence.

March 2004–referred for Psychologist’s evaluation by 2nd grade teacher for intense tantrums, over activity, and social isolation.

Found to have Aperger’s Symdrome, ADHD, Dysthymia and Anxiety, fine motor dyspraxia and sleep disturbance.

Hello world!

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Hello all!  This is my first foray into blogging, so forgive my many blunders!!!

Why am I starting a BLOG?

Good question!  I am a mother with a child on the Autistic spectrum, and like all you mothers out there, this has really changed my life.  I am a board certified family MD who has NOW strayed from a typical  medical practice and into biomedical treatments of autistic spectrum disorders in order help my son reach his full potential!  I have (as my husband so cleverly puts it) “turned to the dark-side.”  Yes, I am out of the closet and claiming myself to be a BIOMEDICAL doctor practising the DAN! protocols.

So, I am just like you…I want my child to reach his full potential.  I want him to be what he would have been if he had not met with his “triggers” of autism and pulled (ever so slightly) into his own world.  For even though he has ONLY been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (or High Functioning Autism), ADHD, and Anxiety disorder, NOS, I truly BURN with a passion to repair his biochemistry and get him off prescription medication.

I have painstakingly learned the biochemisrty of autism from front to back and have networked into the DAN world.

My mission is not leading the march on Washinton.  I also do not want to be a DAN superstar, lecturing and teaching other doctors all the biochemistry.  Laboratory research, as well, is NOT in my future.

My mission is clear to me.  I am your guide, your insiration and your girlfriend.  I will walk with you on your journy through autism and recovery.

My blog will consist of my trials and tribulations as I feel my way through Sam’s recovery.  Julie Buckley is my guide and my son’s DAN! doctor (other than myself!!)  AND, I will start RDI parent training within the week with Jennifer Perry.

Please keep in touch and offer any advise you can give!  I hope to keep my blog uplifting and humorous!

Your girlfriend,