Older Children: Stories of PDA


Katie: First excluded from school at the age of 3, Katie was initially thought to have ADHD, but the routine, rewards and consequences approach only made her behaviour worse. The family and school recognised that PDA approaches were much more effective and she was later diagnosed with ASD. School strategies such as avoiding over-preparation and flexible uniform policies are described. Read more...
 
Dan: Initial struggles were exacerbated by the use of strategies for Asperger children and a focus on attendance at school, to the extent that Dan was signed off by his GP for Year 6 because of his anxiety. A CAMHS parent trainer recommended a more accurate diagnosis, and now in secondary school, with a specialist unit who understands his needs, Dan is flourishing. His mum also recognises that over time they have had to completely change their idea of a parent. Read more...
 
Milly: After years of increasingly challenging behaviour and battling the system, Milly’s family was in complete crisis. Milly’s Mum heard about PDA on TV and immediately recognised how closely her daughter matched the symptoms described. By consistently applying PDA strategies and continually fine-tuning the adaptions Milly needs, daily family life has been largely transformed though PDA continues to present many challenges as Milly moves into adolescence. Read more...

Michael: A diagnosis of Asperger's was a relief to Michael's parents, as it explained so much, but it was only when watching the TV programme 'Born Naughty' that they entirely understood what was underlying his behaviour. From age 11 they have chosen to home-school Michael so haven't sought a further diagnosis, but their understanding has validated the techniques they were using naturally. Read more...
 
John: At the age of 6 John was asking “what’s wrong with my brain, why doesn’t it work properly”. The differentiated diagnosis came at the age of 12 and has meant that he is now able to attend a special school where he is understood and helped in the right ways. Read more...

Agnes: During her early years at school, Agnes was a model pupil- in stark contrast to the behaviour she displayed at home. Her parents and siblings struggled to understand where her outbursts of anger stemmed from. Over time Agnes's school-related anxiety increased until she began a period of complete school refusal. Read more...

Freddie: Freddie was diagnosed with Atypical Autism and ADHD just before his 12th birthday. His parents didn't feel these diagnoses explained the difficulties Freddies was experiencing. PDA had been mentioned to them a few years previously and they adopted many PDA friendly strategies to help him. Freddie's family have seen a vast improvement in his wellbeing and they now look forward to a brighter future together  Read more...



 
With huge thanks to all the families involved, and to writer Vikki Threlfall