RDA stands for Relationship Development Assessment which is a number of appointments spread out over five days with our RDI consultant. We look at how Bright Eyes is going, try some things out with him, and make plans for progress.
I thought the first session went brilliantly and I was a great RDI person... so I was extremely humbled to realise through our consultant that actually Bright Eyes wasn't doing so well. He appeared to be communicating and being an apprentice but if you looked closely, he was actually taking over and directing the play the entire time. I was accommodating him in a big way so that things would go smoothly. However, once he was asked to go along with me, he resisted dreadfully.
Once we worked this out, the rest of the week was spent helping him to be ok with being an apprentice and learning how to play within a relationship rather than having to be in control of everything. It took a lot of crying and tears (both of us) to get to the last session in which our play was a lot more interactive and relational.
I found it all very emotional and quite draining, but I've come home positive.
We have also made a HUGE change by putting the TV away. We knew, but we didn't want to admit that for a while now, Bright Eyes has been living in TV-land. It has become an addiction for him.
We have let it go on because it has been easier to keep him quiet by putting on a video when things get a bit rough. However, in the long term, that won't work for his benefit. So now we are TV-free, and we'll be strictly limiting computer time for everyone.
Today was the first day. I was expecting tantrums and fuss, but honestly - he hasn't even noticed. Let's hope it continues to be this easy!