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What You Can do for Your Child Now

Following are some simple elements of the RDI® Program which you can do with your child in your everyday interaction. These elements focus on changing how you communicate with your child.

  • Slow down your speed of talking and give your child more time to process what has been said; and
  • Wait for your child to respond.
  • Limit the amount of verbal language directed at your child and increase your use of non-verbal language.
  • Increase and amplify the use of non-verbal language, e.g. gestures, facial expressions, pausing and body language.
  • Limit questions, commands and prompts to 20% of what is said to your child.

Try and aim to achieve a ratio of 80% experience sharing communication versus 20% manipulative communication. This is not easy to do but with practice you can improve and increase your use of experience sharing communication.

Examples of experience sharing and manipulative communication.

Manipulative Communication (asking questions, giving directives, commands, prompts, etc.) Experience Sharing Communication
"Which one do you want?" "You have some choices here"
"Keep your toys" "The floor is so messy"
"No…don’t do that" "I don’t like it when you do that as it makes me sad"
"Go and pick up your bag" "Uh oh, your bag is on the floor"
"What is going to happen next?" "I wonder what is going to happen next"