It dawned on me that today marks the one-year anniversary of our journey into formal RDI with our consultant (and she has completed her training and is a full-fledged Consultant now! Congrats!). I guess that merits a reflection post, as well as an update to my blog header that still reads "9 months into our RDI program"! :)
It is no small leap to say that I am the one who has been most changed since we began RDI. It has required me to completely re-wire my life, my thinking, my nature, everything! It has been the hardest thing I've ever done. It's even harder than nursing Reece, and for those of you who knew me during those 2.5 years, you can appreciate the comparison! LOL I remember coming home from the first RDI parent training in tears and I cried for several days after that. I also can remember leaving our early RDI appointments and either crying or having my head hurt for hours afterward! If nothing else, I usually leave our RDI appointments these days with an overstuffed brain, but nothing that causes pain or heartache! :)
Since beginning RDI a year ago, I have been required to slow down, not talk so much, slow down some more, talk even less, keep myself calm in the face of meltdowns, be more expressive in my face, slow down even more, learn an entirely new vocabulary for RDI, stop talking altogether, not get wrapped up in behavioral goals, and did I mention SLOW DOWN? ;)
There is alot more to it than that, obviously. And most of the time I feel like I'm swimming upstream in the middle of the rapids. I still get confused about the terminology of RDI. I still forget to slow down and talk less. I still get very behavioristic with my children (I probably would have made an awesome ABA therapist! LOL ). I still lose sight of the forest for the trees.
I have been very pleased overall with the progress that we've made as a family with RDI. It's easy to get used to the new stages your children are at, and forget how far they have come. Reece is driving me crazy right now with certain behaviors, but I have to remember that this time last year she was highly inflexible and was still prone to melting down in the corner when things didn't go her way. If she couldn't control it, she didn't want any part of it. Now she is the one coming to me wanting to be a part of what I'm doing. That's not to say we don't have a LONG way to go, because we do... but she's made very good progress.
Austin, too, is doing very well. So many of the new challenges that are coming up with him are hard to tell if they are autism-related or pre-teen related. He's alot more relaxed as well. He just came up to me and was reading over my shoulder... I said that it was rude to read over someone's shoulder. He ducked down under my arm and said, "How about I read UNDER your shoulder?!" He chuckled, I tried to tickle him, and he walked away. I don't think it would have turned out like that last year. If I had told him he was doing something unacceptable he would have put himself in his room saying he's the worst. There are still lots of things that I wish would hurry up and happen -- at the nature hike last week he took much too long (IMO) to warm up to hanging out with the guys his age. But I'm sure that will come with time.
Our RDI money is going to be running out in the next few months, and that makes me a little nervous. I don't feel like I understand RDI as much as I would like to! I'm trying to make the most of the time I have with our consultant. I'm reading as many of the foundational books as I can fit into my schedule. In short, I'm doing what I can! :) I'm very fortunate that I have a great support group of other RDI families online that encourage me every step of the way! And I trust that the Lord is going to direct our paths and keep us moving in the right direction.