Meet Debbie. She changed our lives forever and gave Christian the skills he now has. When she first started working with us Christian played in the sink for hours every day, didn't talk, and had to have everything in his life perfect. He would spin and jump all day long and couldn't follow the simplest directions, or even look you in the eye. He didn't like to be touched and would scream for hoursif anything in his life was out of the ordinary. She not only helped him but taught us how to help him as well. She gave us the hope and confidence to look forward to the future and what it may hold and not dwell on what we were living in that moment. Oh how I wish she were closer. I thank God for the time we had her in our lives. ♥ you Debbie Greenwald - Kelly McClatchey
Debbie Greenwald had been working with our son Alex starting when he was 7 years old and he is now 16! Alex was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and it was quite a heartbreaker because we didn't know what autism was or what it might develop into. Initially, we used ABA because that was the available therapy in the 1990s. It helped to an extent, but his conversations were canned, scripted and generally not self-generated.
Not until Debbie introduced us to RDI, a new approach, not a " therapy " did we start to see differences. As parents, we were the ones who had to revolutionize the way we interacted and engaged Alex. His responses were more genuine and self motivated and this was able to carry over to school as well.
Ultimately we asked Debbie to present an RDI in-service to the teachers working with Alex so that parents and educators were all on the same page. She did that and more. Soon thereafter, Debbie developed a home and school program that integrated the RDI principles to an adapted school curriculum.
My husband and I are forever grateful for the intelligent and caring services that Debbie provided for our son, Alex. She has forever made a positive difference in our son's life.
"Debbie Greenwald has given the last 20 years to both learning about and working with autistic children. Her work directly with autistic children and her strategies to help parents successfully raise children are invaluable. Debbie worked with our family and our son for many years - and provided customized services to our son. She was immensely successful and provided a true foundation for his development"
Our daughter is a happy, carefree child. Her entire first year was filled with laughter and accomplishments. She played well by herself and was not needy of us. But as her second birthday rolled around, we noticed that she was not talking or interacting with us, like all the books say she should. We began evaluations and she began preschool for kids with developmental delays. She continued to show signs that there was more than just a delay. Eventually, We were given the diagnosis of Autism, just after she turned 3. We began occupational, developmental and speech therapy. All this helped tremendously. But we needed more. At the age of 5, we begun to learn about RDI. It seemed to address what we were needing…a relationship with our child. Not just learned skills, not just adapting to the world around her. We needed to enjoy each other. By participating in activities, where she was given a role, and we became her guides, we built trust and enjoyed the time together. It wasn’t about doing the skill to get the prize…it was about enjoying the journey of the activity.
After 3 years, RDI has been a constant part of our lives. We can apply it to everything that we do with our daughter. Sometimes is a specific skill that we are working on. And sometimes, it’s just doing something for fun. But learning how to communicate with my daughter, through the basics of RDI, we are having fun on the adventure of life!
"Working with Debbie has been a wonderful experience. She shows an enthusiasm for our daughter, and makes our activities fun and enjoying the moment.
Her knowledge in the field is a huge asset and we know she really cares about what she is doing."
The 'B' Family
We have been working with Debbie for over a year now, and have been very happy with our choice. RDI has given us a way to help our girls catch up on the information they missed in their first years of life due to severe trauma, abuse, and neglect. Debbie has helped us to turn everyday activities into vital learning and healing opportunities. After completing the initial training/introduction to RDI we were immediately able to begin adapting our parenting style to incorporate the RDI philosophy. It is more than a therapy that you do once a week; it’s a way of life. We have enjoyed many more positive interactions with the kids since beginning this program, and look forward to more.
A unique benefit of working with Debbie is her ABA background. While we are moving through the RDI objectives we also have support in dealing with behavioral issues. It is reassuring to know that we not only have a strong guide through the RDI process but someone to call when the crisis arise who can talk us down and help us figure out a behavior plan. Debbie is supportive, knowledgeable and very responsive to our needs and unique situation. We really appreciate having a therapy that can be integrated into our daily activities. Debbie is especially flexible and creative in helping us to find the easiest, most natural ways to accomplish our objectives. We feel truly blessed to have found Debbie, and look forward to continuing with her along the path to healing.
-Keith and Jenn T.