Younger Children: Stories of PDA

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Will: Will's mum found out about PDA through her work as a school inclusion manager, and the description fitted her son exactly. The strategies made such a difference that she has spent time helping professionals and school staff to understand his behaviour and now feels they are all working together as a team. She is delighted that school staff were happy to work with her, rather than waiting for formal assessments that could be months away. Read more...
 
Zara: The moment Zara started school her previously calm demeanour vanished and her behaviour suddenly became very aggressive. Her parents knew this wasn’t naughtiness but had no idea how to move forward until PDA was mentioned. Her family has found PDA strategies to be highly effective but that PDA completely dominates traditional family life and parents/carers need coping strategies of their own to stay strong, calm and organised enough to keep things on an even keel. Read more...

Jack: Key aspects of Jack's autism are needing to be in control, extreme demand avoidance and emotional volatility. Although he has a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism, understanding the more differentiated diagnosis of PDA has helped develop strategies to that have worked and these are now built into his Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Will is currently finding it difficult to attend school, showing how challenging it can be for these children even when their needs are understood. Read more...
 
Francisco: Initially, poor parenting was blamed for Francisco's behaviour, leaving his parents feeling guilty and stressed. In their search for answers they visited a clinician who identified PDA and gave them clear guidance and strategies. Having already missed a year of school, Francisco is now back and doing well, and his parents feel they are able to accompany him through life with greater calmness, confidence and love because of their understanding. Read more...

Joe: Until around the age of 8, Joe seemed to be doing well, so it was a shock when he was suddenly unable to cope and was then given an Autism diagnosis. A speech and language therapist and educational psychologist both felt that a PDA diagnosis would help, and he now manages extremely well. There has been a big impact on the family, but being in tune with Joe and having great school support. Read more... 
 
Stan: Stan’s older brother has Asperger’s, and his parents recognised that he had a developmental disorder, but it was the paediatrician who identified PDA while he was still at pre-school. His Mum thought no one would believe her so argued for a formal diagnosis and that has enabled everyone involved to support Stan better, with flexibility at school and a demand-free zone at home. Read more...

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