Safety and stress

We get the regular RDI newsletter via email, which this week had a particularly good article in it by a consultant named Thomas Brown. Here are some very interesting quotes from it. I'd love to reproduce it in full, but it's long and I'd probably be breaking some copyright laws. For a 'proper' journal article about RDI, follow this link.

Many times I am asked, "How long will it take before we see some progress?" I would really like to say, "Miracles can happen over night."

The reality is, like most other things, it takes work, dedication and patience.

The RDI® Program is a dynamic, changing process that follows a developmental model. It is unusual in the fact that we are NOT changing one discrete element or one discrete behavior.

For many kids, we are literally changing how they view the world, how they respond to changes and we are placing a lot of new demands on them. These changes are done in a gentle, loving and safe manner that gradually allows the child and, perhaps, more importantly, the neurological systems to change.

It is usually high levels of anxiety and fear that cause them to want to control a lot of elements of their life. This control can lead to difficulties with flexibility, rigidity and wanting things to always be the same... and when the anxiety and fear become too much, they are flooded with biochemical stress hormones that can cause major meltdowns.

As we give the child the tools of referencing and gazing, both for information and safety, we also give them security with knowing that everything is O.K.

As we spotlight our emotional interactions with them, we build on positive episodic memories that allow the child to reflect back and realize that change from their static world to the dynamic world is safe.

Thomas Brown answers his original question about 'how long does it take' by estimating that parents usually start to see significant changes in their child in about a year. We have seen significant progress much faster than this. Hopefully it will continue.