Case Studies

This series of individual stories is intended to highlight a range of experiences and illustrate what has been particularly helpful or unhelpful for individuals and families.

While every case is different, a key theme is the way in which adopting the right strategies can have such a dramatic impact. There is a common problem of initial diagnoses being either too general or insufficiently accurate and the pressures on parents when the problems are misunderstood are enormous. It is hoped these examples will help schools and professionals undertaking assessments to have a better understanding of this form of autism and how the correct approaches can help.

Please use these case studies and share them with others. This resource will continue to be developed over time, and is intended to help raise awareness so that diagnoses and strategies are put into effect more quickly than has been the case for some of these children and adults.

Found 37 listings

Helen’s story – PDA in families and deciding to home educate

Helen self-identifies with a PDA profile and sees the same traits in other family members including her daughter and her Mum, with mutual understanding across the generations having led to an instinctively collaborative and compassionate approach to both parenting and education. Passionately believing that our education system is not [...]

Surviving A-Levels – Jo’s story

Personal Reflection: Surviving A-Levels by Jo. Jo is a PDA young adult. He studied A-Level Philosophy, Maths and English at a mainstream school and shares his personal experience here, offering valuable insights for both young people and adults. Jo reflects on some of the challenges he faced and the approaches [...]

Julia’s Story

Julia was diagnosed with PDA by Elizabeth Newson aged 12 after her increasingly challenging behaviour resulted in school exclusion and social isolation. Now in her early 30s, Julia recounts the impact PDA (and her co-morbid ADHD) has had from childhood onwards and how increased self-awareness and connecting with other [...]

Michael’s Story

An ASD diagnosis helped Michael’s parents justify their need to parent differently, something they had previously felt blamed for. However Asperger’s didn’t fully or accurately describe his presentation, whereas PDA fits him ‘like a glove’. Michael’s Mum had found herself naturally adopting PDA-friendly strategies through her own trial and [...]