This glossary is designed to explain some of the scientific terminology, abbreviations etc. used by some people when they talk about autism or research.
You may be able to find more information, including links to other parts of this website, by clicking on the title of an item.
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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.
Over time we hope to evaluate each of the interventions listed in this glossary, providing a ranking which tells you the level of scientific evidence which supports or does not support its use. For more information please see Treatments and Therapies for Autism Currently Under Scientific Evaluation by Research Autism
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) is a therapy which focuses on a child’s inability to form true social and emotional relationships with others.
A consultant evaluates the child’s relationship skills and then develops a set of objectives appropriate for that child. He or she then shows the parents the best techniques to achieve those objectives, as well as providing ongoing support through videotape reviews and written feedback.
The parents teach their child how to participate in emotional relationships by exposing him or her to those relationships in a gradual, systematic way. In practice this is done in a number of ways, including through a series of standard exercises. These exercises include passing a “hot potato” rapidly back and forth or duplicating facial expressions shown in pictures