A local campaign in Hertfordshire is helping to change mindsets, and it is hoped will lead to formal recognition of PDA as a profile within the autistic spectrum. A survey of almost 40 families showed the inconsistency in getting a helpful diagnosis, and the majority had found that local mental health and autism services had not been able to support them. Families were left feeling isolated and that they were not being listened to.
The results were written up as part of a ‘call to action’ and sent to Hertfordshire’s All-Age Autism Partnership Board, with the support of all the local charities working in the field. The PDA Society presented at the Board’s business executive meeting on 12th May. The group, which included Council Assistant Director, Sue Darker, agreed the importance of recognition, and will develop a statement for the full board to agree to. They were also very keen to look at what futher actions might be taken to ensure a spread of knowledge and consistency within the County.
It may take some months, but the test will be to see if families start to find that they are listened to more, and that adults with PDA are accessing more considered and understanding help.
It gives hope to those in other parts of the country. You can download the call to action here, and the PDA Society can help with a local campaign if you wish to do something similar, just email us.