Kat Lee, RDI Program Certified Consultant

What is the RDI® Program?

Relationship Development Intervention®

Many thanks to the families I've worked with, who have generously given me permission to use their video screenshots and photos! [3:05]

The RDI Family Consultation Program is an ongoing training and supervision program for parents of children with autism, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome and other developmental or neurological issues. RDI empowers parents to become effective guides for their neurologically vulnerable children.

The RDI Program consists of a carefully staged, research-based curriculum of 7 Parent Levels and 5 Student Levels. One of the Program's primary strengths is that it is based on a thorough, in-person Dynamic Child Assessment, which determines precise developmental readiness (from infant to adult levels). Based on the Assessment, assignments are then customized for each unique family by an RDI Program Certified Consultant.

Examples of Parent Goals include:

  • Learning how to construct an optimal Guiding Environment for your child

  • Learning how to create interactions at your child's "edge" which are both safe and challenging

  • Learning how to use Indirect Influence in a 'no-fail' way

  • Learning how to construct activities and roles to facilitate Joint Attention, Social Referencing, and Co-regulatory Decision-making

  • Learning what to "spotlight" for your child to facilitiate Episodic Memory and learning from his or her own experiences.


The many Student (Child) Goals have been rigorously sequenced so that they build step-by-step in a developmental way.

Early-stage examples of Student Goals include:

  • Recognizing when a situation is safe to engage in, even if there is also uncertainty

  • Understanding that the Parent (Guide) is a source of safety and valuable information 

  • Gaze-shifting and regulating to remain co-ordinated 

  • Taking responsibility for initiating and maintaining enthusiasm for interactions with Guides

Later-stage examples of Student Goals include:

  • Enjoying novelty and change

  • Learning to tolerate failure and building resilience

  • Negotiating with friends and taking others' perspectives

  • Collaborating on projects

  • Re-engaging with partners / repairing when there are breakdowns

As your Consultant, I will be your guide as you go at your own pace and learn how to be a guide to your child: customizing your assignments as necessary, reviewing your video-taped interactions, helping you if you get stuck, and generally overseeing your progress through all of the levels. I will be an integral part of your RDI Program experience–providing ongoing, regular contact (typically weekly or bi-weekly in person or by skype) so you get the continuous feedback and support you need to be successful. 

If you are currently feeling overwhelmed, RDI provides a step-by-step way for you to move past that state. But no matter where you begin, the end goal of RDI is to provide your neurologically vulnerable child with a guiding relationship with you, his or her parent(s). This critical relationship is the ultimate path to lifelong growth and development–and the highest quality of life possible for your child, including genuine friendships, long-term relationships, confident, independent living and meaningful work. 

Dr. Steven Gutstein, Developer of the RDI Program

Dr. Steven Gutstein, Developer of the RDI Program

Often called "the missing piece" in autism treatment, the RDI Program was developed by Dr. Steven Gutstein, who is an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of developmental disabilities. His RDI Program was first developed more than twenty years ago, and has been continuously updated since then based on the latest research and feedback from dozens of RDI consultants, collaborating internationally.

For more information about the RDI Program, including articles and videos I recommend parents read and view before meeting with me, please see the additional information on my "How to Get Started" page by clicking here.