Dear Friends

It’s been quite a year for the PDA Society.

Understanding and acceptance of the PDA profile of Autism is continuing to grow … But we still have a long way to go as we are aware that many families and individuals are still struggling to obtain diagnosis, to achieve the right support in school and to have access to good mental health care. Some individuals and parents of children are struggling to find a way out of ATUs! So many still struggling …

This makes the PDA Society’s work so important, in particular that of our volunteers and volunteer trustees on the front line supporting individuals, families and professionals on our enquiry line, by delivering training, by writing and sharing resources, by providing a platform for the PDA community to share experiences and knowledge and by raising the profile of PDA with the government and in the media, by sending out our literature and merchandise and those who keep the wheels of our organisation turning financially and administratively!

So, I want to take a moment to say a big thank you to our very hard working and extremely committed small team of volunteers. Many wear lots of different hats within the PDA Society and some work 12 hour days, 7 days a week.

I would also like to thank our wider friends, our PDAers, professionals, those who coordinate Support Groups, former volunteers and all those who help by raising funds for the PDA Society.

Together we are making a big difference!

In 2019 the PDA Society will hold its first Research Meeting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin Cooper for his generous donation which has enabled us to host this. Lack of sufficient research into demand avoidance is one of the key barriers to understanding, so the PDA Society hopes that this initial meeting will be a positive step and lead to further research and future wider events.

This meeting will be very closely followed by the consultation in January regarding the Autism Core Competency Framework. It is really important that PDA is represented at these consultation sessions – If you want to attend, you may need to book quickly! Please also let us know if you book on successfully by emailing us.

We are also working with the government to share examples of best practice in PDA and to produce some webinars about PDA (we will let you have more information on this in due course) and it was very encouraging to see PDA included as one of 4 bullet points in the government’s announcement about the review of its autism strategy.

And just a reminder about our Christmas Card competition – do enter or encourage those you live or work with to do so.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Chair Of The PDA Society