Friday, June 24, 2011

New Summary of the RDI Program

Dr. Gutstein has unveiled a brand new version of the RDI program for autism remediation. It contains a new on-line "platform" and a new "objective" system for both parents and students. We are all very excited about what promises to be an even better program than before! Below is a brief introduction he wrote explaining the basics of the RDI family consultation program. If you would like more information about RDI, contact me (at or on Facebook at Laura Barbuto DeAngelo) or one of the hundreds of other certified consultants worldwide. See the website for a list of certified consultants.

Introduction to the Family Consultation Program

The first step

The Family Consultation Program is for many families, the first step towards developing their child's ability to function as a mindful decision maker. FCP is a clinical program, specifically designed for those families where powerful obstacles have disrupted the formation of a natural mental guiding process. Parents work with trained RDI Family Consultants. The focus is on constructing essential foundations for mental development by harnessing the immense potential of the family.

Program Premises

Foundations of the adult mind are developed in the first years of life through the "Guiding Relationship". From the middle of the first year of life, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, in every culture on earth, children interact with parents and other important adults in deceptively simple encounters, with a very serious underlying agenda; constructing the architecture of the child’s mind and brain.

Some children are born with vulnerabilities that in early development serve as a “tipping point,” preventing them from developing foundations needed to participate in and benefit from the Guiding Relationship. The congenital problems of these children disrupt early parent-child communication, preventing even the most competent parent from providing the thousands of hours of safe, productive guidance needed to foster their child's dynamic development.

The Family Consultation Program seeks to provide a second opportunity for parents and children to develop this essential relationship. We have distilled the typically intuitive process into its central elements. Dr. Gutstein has spent over twenty years studying the intuitive guiding process as it is conducted over the entire world. He has systematically "de-constructed" the process - breaking it apart into its central components, so that any parent can learn to be an effective guide. He has developed a variety of methods to create optimal practice and learning environments that slow and amplify information so that children can experience trust in their guides and in themselves.

The Process

The program involves both parents and child learning new ways of thinking and perceiving in a carefully guided and personalized program. An individual plan is developed, focusing on first reducing those bio psycho social obstacles preventing apprenticeship from developing and then providing the tools needed for successful parent-child guiding engagements to occur.

Consultants train parents to provide a safe, but constantly varying framework. Children learn to use parents as a safe reference point for engaging with and mastering new mental challenges. Children learn to "upgrade" their personal understanding and competence through observing, sharing and comparing with the more expert mind of the parent. Parents learn to construct personalized modifications and remove obstacles, to provide an optimal learning environment.

Parents learn to add small pieces of uncertainty to predictable frameworks. Challenge is paired with success through self regulation balanced by just enough parental support. Parents make sure to capture critical episodes as "experience memories" and build a repository of similar memories in gradually more complex environments.


Until the RDI Family Consultation Program was initiated in 2001, the disruption, or failure of the natural Guiding Relationship meant that opportunities for dynamic mental and neural development were irrevocably lost. The program has provided a second chance for thousands of families worldwide to resume the critical functions that are the universal basis of family life and success in the 21st century world.

-Dr. Steven Gutstein

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pending Legislation in CT!

Dear Families,

I just learned last night that the public hearing for Senate Bill 974, An Act Concerning Health Insurance Coverage for Alternative Therapies for Autism, will be held tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, CT, room 2C. This is a hearing before the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, which has agreed to raise the bill at the request of Linda Schofield. We are so grateful to Linda for her support.

As we received virtually no notice of the hearing, we are asking to have the hearing delayed; but according to Linda this doesn't seem likely. So for now assume that the hearing will go on as planned. Please scroll down this list to see the hearing information near the bottom on the right:

This is a bill that would provide insurance coverage for evidence-based developmental/relationship-based interventions such as RDI, DIR/floortime (Greenspan model) and the SCERTS model, among others. We believe that parents should have choices of covered interventions that fit their and their child's preferences and needs; the experts agree that, with autism therapy, one size does not fit all!

There will be a lot of interest in the topic of whether there is sufficient evidence basis for these various therapies; so if you have any helpful information along these lines, please feel free to share it in your testimony. Also, there will be a lot of interest in the cost-effectiveness of these therapies; so again, feel free to include information on that in your testimony.

If at all possible on this short notice, please attend the hearing if you can, and provide oral testimony (maximum of three minutes). You will need to supply written copies of your testimony also (35 copies). You will need to be there at 11:00 for the sign in.

If you cannot make the hearing, you may submit written testimony (no maximum length) by noon tomorrow. You may e-mail your testimony to the following individual, who will make the necessary copies for you and get your testimony to the committee for the hearing.

Robert Labanara

Please include the following information with your testimony:

Your name and contact information - address, phone, e-mail
Number and title of the bill: Senate Bill 974, Health Insurance Coverage For Alternative Therapies For Autism: Mandate
Your position (e.g. I support SB 974)
(He did not mention date, but I think you should definitely put the date of submission).

There is no minimum or maximum length requirement although he advised to keep it on the short side since the committee has a lot of written testimony to go through. He suggested bullet points as a good format.

Please spread the word as quickly as possible to other parents and professionals who may want to attend the hearing and/or submit testimony.

Also, Kim Kiernan will be coordinating most of the communication regarding this bill going forward. If you do not want to be on Kim's e-mail list of contacts for this information, please e-mail her at and reequest to be removed from the list.

Here is the current version of the bill, which is an expanded version of the current behavioral mandate:

Please help us in this effort! It is so important for our children and families to have affordable choices in autism therapy.