One thing leads to another. In my last post I mentioned two contending therapies for autism. Then I browsed through the latest issue of of ‘New Scientist’ and read that while there was great hope for treatment of some ‘the big five’ neural disorders (stroke, Alzheimers, etc.), there was little hope with regards autism. Standard ABA and perhaps medication are all that are mentioned.
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) trains the autistic in social skills – the ways of regular folks; what certain of regular folks’ customs are and how to mimic these in order to get by better in the regulate word.
The social skills ABA trains include: behaving appropriately, following rules, good hygiene and proper dress. The autistic, though remains austistic. ABA’s motto might be: Fit in!
According to its website, RDI (Relationship Development Initiative) is about far more than this. “While social improvements are dramatic, children who succeed in their RDI® Program demonstrate dramatic changes in flexible thinking, pragmatic communication, creative information processing, problem-solving, and self-development.”
RDI employs the relationship with the primary caregivers to rewire the neural deficits which characterise the autism. The RDI motto might be: Cure autism!
RDI’s Steven Gutstein has just oublished an evaluation article in the jounal ‘Autism.’
Given that RDI insists that it is about brain change we can only hope that soon we will be presented with brain scans proving that point.