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a teacher's perspective....
  • Hello to you all!

    I'm a teacher in a mainstream infants' school with a Year 1 class of 26 children (one of whom is statemented with ADHD). We recently welcomed a new addition to our class, a charming, yet frustrating little boy with excellent reading and mental calculation skills. It became apparent after a couple of weeks that school is a real challenge for him and we are looking at the possibility that he may have PDA. His mum certainly believes this to be true, yet the ed psych is not so sure. I honestly don't know. I suppose that I'm looking for different perspectives and experiences from parents and other professionals. I would really appreciate any advice that parents can give me about strategies that work for them and their experiences of school, good and not so good..........

    Thanks and blessings to you all

    serenita
  • jelv
    Posts: 185
    Welcome to our forums.

    I presume you have printed yourself a copy of the handling quidlines from here: http://www.pdacontact.org.uk/noframes/guidelines.shtml

    The biggest problem we had with one particular school was non-acceptance that our daughter had a Autistic spectrum problem - they just regarded her as naughty and tried challenging the behaviour. They also didn't adjust the level of the work they expected of her and gave her the same work as the rest of the group. Two years were totally wasted and she learnt nothing.

    It would probably be worth your while contacting the Elizabeth Newson centre.
  • Pamela
    Posts: 205
    Hello Serenita and welcome. How lovely to see a member of the teaching profession on the site. If you browse through the other forums you will see an abundence of strategies and info from families.
  • Hi,
    If you ring the Newson centre they will post you a load of papers on PDA and a few strategies included. Generally, flexibility and humour seem to be the way forward.

    My daughters primary teacher is fantastic. Examples that seem to work,

    She gives sophia a toy lizard to care for during assemby, this seems to keep her sitting and compliant. I have seen her sitting and looking at the toy. She has given Sophia a toy to look after when explosions are occuring or about to.

    She has a sticker reward scheme. for good behaviour. (Loves stickers). Has had a petal reward scheme and now a face is drawn in her happy book each day.

    These strategies have been successful while they thought Sophia had Aspergers. Now, I and they are convinced she has PDA. New Strategies will be required.

    Sophia enjoys being in control. I sometimes think that she would make a great prefect.

    At home the only thing I can get her to do without complaint is reading. I insist on two books and tell her, she is special. Spelling is impossible to do.
  • Hi my son is now in year 2 and at the start of each school year my sons behaviour has taken aturn for the worse. things improve when he has built a relationship with the teacher and he understands how they work (and probably vice versa). Sticker charts worked with us for a while till he ripped it up in temper. Having somewhere quiet and out of the way was very useful when he became anxious as he could start to calm himself down. and the more that you talk to my son when he is angry or frustrated the worse you can make things so it may be an idea to say to him, I will leave you alone (if it is safe to do so) and then he can tell you when he is calm again. Maybe a pop up tent would be a good place for him to sit? Also trying to remain calm and ignore what you can is a good strategy. My son too loves reading but we cannot get him to write - he has poor co-ordination so maybe this is why. He is a bit of a perfectionist and hates getting things wrong. He has ripped up work that looks fine to others because he feels he has made a mistake.
    He likes computers and so maybe if this child also dislikes writing with pen and paper you could try and get him interested in using the computer instead.
    I too am glad to see that a teacher is contributing to the site - it will allow us to see things from another perspective!
    Good luck and hope you find some strategies that work!
    Debbie
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    I'm working with my sons school collecting information about the stratagies that help so that I can write it in a reader friendly way in a leaflet and hopefully get it published. I have the support of an excellent peadiatrician. I really feel there is a need for some stratagies and information to be colated to help parents.
    I feel very strongly after my own experiences that there is a lot to be said for working with the school and making sure that there is a continuity between both home and school in the way the children are handled. This not only reassures the child but also sets very clear bounderies that span both home and school.
    I'll let you know how things progress.
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