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Comprehensive New Autism Video Detailing Relationship Development Intervention Released by the Connections Center


HOUSTON,TX -- March 9, 2005 -- Promising Treatment For People With Autism Spectrum Disorders The Subject Of New Five-Hour DVD.

The founders of Relationship Development Intervention(TM) (RDI(TM)) have released a new instructional video, “Going to the Heart of Autism.” Intended to introduce families with children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and professionals who oversee their treatment to the RDI program, the DVD includes five hours of commentary, analysis and video clips.

“Going to the Heart of Autism” is hosted by Dr. Steve Gutstein, the internationally recognized author and innovator in the field of autism spectrum disorders who developed the RDI methodology in 2001 along with Dr. Rachelle Sheely. The DVD reflects recent adjustments to the RDI methodology to integrate advances in scientific understanding of the core deficits of ASDs.

Based upon Dr. Gutstein’s model of Experience Sharing, RDI is the first systematic program designed to help children with ASDs overcome the obstacles that prevent them from attaining relationship competence. RDI is a parent-based clinical treatment program that emphasizes foundation skills, such as social referencing, regulating behavior, conversational reciprocity and synchronized actions.

“The name ’Going to the Heart of Autism’ is a great description of what RDI is designed to do -- address the core deficits that can contribute to an autistic child’s difficulties,” said Gutstein. “The DVD shows that RDI isn’t about training autistic children in rote skills; it’s about quality of life. It helps children with ASDs develop into curious, interested, thoughtful and flexible people -- people you want to hang out with.”

One of the most valuable instructional tools included in “Going to the Heart of Autism” are the video clips of parents and families participating in RDI activities. The DVD includes more than 30 such clips, which illustrate the central role parents and siblings play in the RDI program.

The prevalence of autism and associated disorders has sharply risen in recent years, with some education and medical professionals describing the rise as an epidemic. An estimated six in every 1,000 children are diagnosed with an ASD -- a tenfold increase in the past 20 years. Some, including Gutstein, believe the rise is at least partly due to a loosening of the criteria used to diagnose autism as well as misdiagnosis of autistic children as mentally retarded in the past.

“We are accurately diagnosing ASDs early because researchers, the medical community and the general public know more about children and adults on the autism spectrum than ever before,” said Gutstein. “This new DVD provides answers for families and professionals searching for ways to make a positive difference in the life of an autistic child.”

“Going to the Heart of Autism” costs $150. It can be ordered online at or by calling 713-838-1362.

About Connections Center

Established in 1995, the Connections Center for Family and Personal Development, based in Houston, is a multi-disciplinary program to develop innovative evaluation and intervention programs for people with relationship disorders. Led by Dr. Steve Gutstein and his wife, Dr. Rachelle K. Sheely, the Connections Center staff provides a full range of evaluation and treatment services, including RDI. They provide education and training to families and professionals worldwide. More information is available at


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