McAllen Autism Consultant Earns Prestigious Certification from Connections Center

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Trudi Pacheco, a licensed occupational therapist with Milestones Therapeutic Associates in McAllen, has earned certification in the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) autism remediation program. A rigorous process, the Certification Program typically takes 18 months to complete. Consultants are trained to administer the RDA™ (Relationship Development Assessment™) and provide ongoing support to parents.

A McAllen autism consultant has earned certification in the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) autism treatment program. Trudi Pacheco, a licensed occupational therapist with Milestones Therapeutic Associates, earned certification from Connections Center of Houston, Texas, which developed the RDI program.

A rigorous process, the Certification Program typically takes 18 months to complete. Consultants are trained to administer the RDA™ (Relationship Development Assessment™) and provide ongoing support to parents.

The RDI program is a cognitive model designed to work with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders by providing consultation to families to address the core deficits, which include flexible thinking, communication, development of self and social/emotional relationships.

“We consider the role of Certified RDI Consultants such as Trudi to be nurturing the primary relationship between parent and child by raising the parents’ level of competence and confidence,” said Dr. Rachelle Sheely, who developed the RDI program with Dr. Steven Gutstein in 2001 and oversees the RDI Certification Program. “Most parents run into challenges from time to time, so having an ongoing relationship with a Consultant who knows their family can make a big difference.”

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. According to the most recent Texas Public Schools Autism Prevalence Report compiled by FightingAutism, the number of individuals between the age of three and 22 hit 11,940 in 2003. That is an increase of more than 67 percent since the year 2000 when there were 7,131 reported cases. Some, including Gutstein, believe the rise is at least partly due to a loosening of the criteria used to diagnose autism as well as misclassification of autistic children as mentally retarded in the past.

At Milestones Therapeutic Associates, Pacheco provides diagnostic and treatment programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Milestones Therapeutic Associates consists of a group of dedicated specialists including Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists that offer a broad variety of specialized therapies to children and adults. Pacheco can be reached at:

Trudi Pacheco, LOT

Milestones Therapeutic Associates

3300 North McColl, Suite A

McAllen, TX 78501

Phone: 956.661.0475

Email: TruTru68@aol.com

Editor’s Note: A downloadable high-resolution photo of Trudi Pacheco is available at

http://www.keeneypr.com/attachments/files/38/TrudiPacheco.JPG.

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 Dr. Rachelle K. Sheely, the Connections Center staff provides a full range of evaluation and treatment services, including the RDI program. They provide education and training to families and professionals worldwide. More information is available at http://www.rdiconnect.com.

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Dan Keeney