Research and Evaluation

A Formative Evaluation of the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Program

Carole Portas Keane, Ph.D.



The Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Program is a training course for parents with children diagnosed with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  It was originally introduced to families in the Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) district in 2010 and now serves 33 families.  The formative evaluation of the program focuses on program utilization and parent perceptions.  The program has three components-an online tool called RDI Connect, bi-weekly group sessions for training and discussion and one-on-one training with a certified RDI consultant.  Utilization was assessed by the number of on-line posts parents made to the website and attendance consisting of open-ended items was used to measure parent perceptions.  Based on the program utilization data we conclude that participants are committed to the program.  The typical family participates in 5 hours of training per month, makes 4 website entries and utilizes training materials via the website 3 times per month.  Parents express satisfaction with the program and indicate that they have seen improvements in their child's development, their relationship with their child and the overall family dynamic as a result of what they have learned from the program that they are applying to their daily lives.

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    Did You Know?

    That ninety (90%) of PGCPS' school-based administrators expressed being satisfied with their job in 2015, an increase of 10 percentage-points over the rate in 2011.


    More than 33,600 students, 9,000 parents, and 5,700 teachers participated in the 2017 School Climate Survey.