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  • Kristine Mastronardi

Autism Mind Body Self

Updated: Apr 27


Before we began RDI Jake was not a very good apprentice and I was not a very good guide to him. I loved him and he loved me, we had a connection, but we did not have a guiding relationship. Jake was rigid and inflexible and actively disengaging. I was ill equipped to guide his mental and neural development. I was actually the “walking on egg shells” parent. Activity Schedules helped at first but we, thankfully, were able to move on from that and really achieve dynamic thinking and flexibility, thanks to RDI.

Many see Jake and I now and want to know how we got where we are today. That is why I created a new Instagram page @AutismMindBodySelf and YouTube Channel Autism Mind Body Self where Jake and I will show the early foundations we had to meet on our way to working on Dynamic Thinking. Again, everyone is different, everyone needs different supports but it will hopefully give you more of an insight into what RDI looks like in action and how we use activities to work on goals and objectives.

Jake will continue to post his current experiences on his YouTube Channel, Jakes Take On Autism. He has some great footage of what he learned on his Apprenticeship Dog Training Job and what I learned as his Guide with Dr. Gutstein’s input and guidance. Jake was so busy on the job, we didn’t have time to post until now. So stay tuned and subscribe so you don’t miss it!

For anyone who wants to see the early Activity Schedules we used, follow me at @AutismMindBodySelf and DM me “Activity Schedule Toolkit” and I will send you a PDF of what we learned about Activity Schedules many years ago. They do have a behavioral focus which I now believe we should not rely on. However, I still really love visuals and see how they can be applied in a variety of ways. We even made a visual schedule Making Cookies where we incorporated visuals for both the guide and apprentice. We used visuals to track objectives as well as to see the actual steps in the cookie making process.

Now is a great time to share this information as we are on “Stay at Home” restrictions due to COVID-19. Prayers to you and your family during this difficult time. Heartfelt thanks to all the medical professionals and grocery workers and other amazing essential workers doing their best to keep us all safe!












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