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PDA vs oppositional defiant disorder vs conduct disorder
  • Pirin
    Posts: 2
    Hi all, I haven't posted in a long time, I have a son who was diagnosed to have ASD with PDA traits.
    At that time, the head therapist told me that this was the first time she made a PDA diagnosis and that was the very first time we heard of PDA. They were a very experienced bunch so I don't doubt their expertise but my question is how do you distinguish between PDA, ODD and CD?
    I read that PDA comes with autistic traits (which my son has) but what is the difference between a PDA and a comorbid ASD diagnosis with conduct disorder? Is there such a thing?
    I am probably chasing my own tail with all this but I wonder if there are other strategies I can use to help my son which may be advised for other types of disorders.
  • PDA_ASD_Parent
    Posts: 4,198
    PDA is an autism spectrum disorder so it's not co-morbid to ASD as it is a specific ASD sub-type, like you get Asperger's syndrome, classic autism, pervasive development disorder, etc. they are all ASD subtypes. PDA is the newest recognised one and because of that, it's not described as a subtype in the diagnostic manuals, although the diagnostic code for ASD covers it as a diagnosis, it does need to be specific as PDA subtype on the report as PDA needs different support and management than the other ASDs. As it was the first time she diagnosed it, that's why she has been unclear over the labelling and it's wrong to say your son has autistic traits as if that's incidental, because he would have as PDA is an ASD!

    People can also have two subtypes of ASD, so they meet criteria for both. E.g. Asperger's and PDA.

    I do understand what you mean about ODD as when I was first look at PDA for our youngest, she matched every single trait on the ODD list. I have wondered many times whether PDA is in fact ASD+ODD and this would explain why ODD in an autistic child looks different to ODD in an NT child.

    As I understand it, ODD is considered a CD. It is not an ASD.

    People on here have recommended the Ross Greene The Explosive Child book which you could try.
  • lpuk
    Posts: 4
    ODD manifests as hostile behaviour towards people in positions of authority. Causes are thought to be environmental (e.g. family dynamics, poor parenting) and there is some research that suggests a genetic link.

    PDA is about anxiety driven behaviour, best thought of as a panic attack driven by a perception that demands being placed upon the individual are just too hard for them. Behaviour is therefore about avoiding (the demand) and a need to be in control. Hostility or a desire to 'defy' doesn't come into it.

    Hope that helps?
  • PDA_ASD_Parent
    Posts: 4,198

    The following behavioral symptoms are associated with ODD:

    • Frequent temper tantrums
    • Excessive arguments with adults
    • Actively refusing to comply with requests and rules
    • Often questioning rules
    • Deliberately annoying and upsetting others
    • Often touchy or annoyed by others
    • Blaming others for their mistakes
    • Frequent outbursts and revenge seeking

    I could say all of that fits our youngest. What's interesting, is a risk factor for ODD is stated on that link, to be a parent with ADHD and ADHD is another neurodevelopmental disorder strongly correlated with ASD.
  • PDA_ASD_Parent
    Posts: 4,198

    I explain a longer list re ODD which also fits on that thread. Conduct disorder is the next step along from ODD in an older individual I think.

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