The lightbulb moment

Many parents and PDAers talk about the ‘lightbulb moment’ when they first discover the PDA profile of autism. For the first time, they feel that they can ‘make sense’ of themselves or their child.

Our emotions at this time are often a mixture of grief and relief. Grief that it may have taken so long to find out about PDA. Relief that you finally have an explanation.

The PDA Society ran a quick poll which showed that the vast majority of us first hear about PDA by chance (coming across the information somewhere, often whilst seeking answers for our children’s or our own presentations) or from a fellow parent/PDAer.

This underlines the importance of raising awareness amongst professionals and of clarifying how the constellation of traits seen in PDA is best referred to and classified, as highlighted in the PDA Society’s Being Misunderstood report.

Most importantly, once we recognise PDA in ourselves or our children, we can understand things much better and approach life in a more positive way using helpful approaches.

This point was made really well by one of the parent speakers at 2018 conference, Lisa Atkin. During her talk she shared this powerful slide about how understanding PDA enabled her to have a clear view of her son Will, rather than the distorted one that she and others around him had had previously: