Family Consultation Program

I have been a certified consultant in the Relationship Development Intervention program since 2009 and started my training to be a consultant two years before that. As a consultant participating in the RDI program I am always happy to share my excitement with just about anyone who will listen. I have effectively treated families with autism, angelmans syndrome, and others with RDI. One thing that I treasure about the RDI program is the Family Consultation Program (FCP) which I believe is unique and a wonderful resource for families.

The FCP is an amazingly organized system that will allow both the certified consultant and parent easily follow initial steps in the RDI program. Before I get into how the FCP will benefit you I think it is important for all parents to think about the dream we all dream… The Manual, you know that parenting manual we all want that will tell us what to do. The one that will give us the answers on how to do our best. How would you feel if you could get that manual and support with it being as unique and individualized as possible for your child and family?

I think as parents when we are asking for a manual we are really just asking for some guidance or a way to know that you are not making the wrong decision about teaching your child. There is a very special thing that bonds parents all over the world and that is guided participation. Besides sounding warm and fuzzy guided participation is a very complex system that we use as parents to teach our children. The easiest way for me to think about this is in terms of teaching your child how to walk. When you first realized your child was ready to walk you did not set them in the middle of the room and let them go. You had this natural instinct to hold on tight and show them how to takes steps. From there you started slowly loosening your hold and allowing your child to take over this process. If you really stop to remember the time when you did this with your child it is a beautiful process. One that we take for granted and this always breaks down for parents of children with autism. The most important single thing you can do is restore this process and that is where the FCP comes into place.

The Family Consultation Program is the beginning of any RDI program. It is the set of steps a parent must take to become a better guide to their child regardless of their ability. It outlines the identification of areas where as parents you can embark on the changes necessary to be the best you can as well as the things that could be impacting your child. In life and the RDI program we typically describe these things that are impacting us as obstacles. Obstacles can be anything from your child’s behaviors and speech needs to parental time management and communicative resources.

In the FCP a certified consultant guides you through identifying areas of concern and sets you up for success in the RDI program. You learn what it takes to be a good guide to your child and the steps that will help get you there. You get to make mistakes and have someone help guide you through those mistakes. Even more important you get a second chance at being the best parent you can be. All of this within the individual culture of your family and without impacting the unique and special qualities of your family. Now back to that manual you have been asking for. To learn more about RDI and how the Family Consultation Program can benefit your family please contact me, Marija Savitt, M.A. at 1-619-886-0159 or email me at


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