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im new and not sure if my daughter has PDA or not??
  • hi,
    i would really appreciate some advice as i am not sure exactly what is going on with my daughter (nearly 11). here is a brief history=
    my daughter has always been very strong willed and loud, when she was at nursey we had to fill in behaviour books for her etc as she had trouble following demands/instructions and she would even sometimes attack the teachers physically (although not on a daily basis). she has always been bossy and needing to be in control of any situation she was in and over the years it has not changed, people used to say to me that it was just a phase or the age but i know she is "different" to my other children (i have 3 more, younger than her)

    anyway when she was about 5 we were referred to a child physcologist (sp) and she said she had something called demand avoidance syndrome and we had a couple of sessions with her then that was it we didnt need to be seen again as she had seemed to improve a bit.

    as time has gone on and the other siblings have come along she has been very demanding and its got to the stage now where i dread waking up in the mornings and have to cope with her constant arguing, annoying her brothers and sisters just for the sake of it and generally upsetting the whole household. she has had a lot of trouble in the past with maintaining friendships she seems to be quite loud on the outside but has very low self esteem and no confidence although she puts on an act that she has if you know what i mean, she will argue with any adults and doesnt seem to have any respect for anyone.
    whenever she is being rude or having an outburst (which is sometimes several times a day) she can never see that she is responsible for her actions and its always "everyone elses fault" which is very hard for us as parents to cope with and when i have spoken to her about it later when she is calm she has said that she doesnt want to be naughty but something takes over her and makes her and she cant control it.
    she says sorry and then does the same thing 5 minutes later which i find very frustrating.

    what i am asking really is can you get different extremes of PDA because some of the children i have read about on here sound very similar to my daughter but then others are more extreme if that makes sense? im sorry to sound so ignorant on this subject but i really feel i need to find out more as i know that something is not quite right with my daughter although the rest of the family just say its her personality and she has just not adapted well to change in her life ie the other children being born i must add also that she has never been pushed out if anything she has always had more of our attention because she has always been so demanding and she gets praised so much for the right choices that she makes and for being kind/loving to others etc so i think there is more to it than attention seeking behaviour.
  • In my opinion the answer is a resounding yes! I've not heard any professionals say as such but based on my experience with my PDA diagnosed son, I feel that different extremes definitely exist. I think my son has a mild version of this disorder - although I also feel that we go through phases (demand and anxiety linked presumably) where his PDA is much more severe and apparent and then other phases where it seems to disappear and he seems totally 'normal' and I even question whether the diagnosis was right (until the next time we hit a bad spell and I remember why he was given this label!!!!)

    So are you not getting any support at the moment with your daughter and are you without an official diagnosis? Based on what you said, your daughter's behvaiour sounds (to me!) like it could certainly be PDA. Strange how you were discharged as her symptoms seem to improve. We were told it was something our son will always have and although the way we manage it and the way he copes and other external environmental factors would definitely have an impact on how he is, it was there to stay.
  • thankyou very much for your reply,
    i have decided that i am going to ask my gp to refer me back to the physcologist that we saw before as i feel that if the expert was willing to mention demand avoidance syndrome to me then she should have carried on seeing us or at least given us some info on it, to be honest at the time i just thought it was a name that experts used for demanding behaviour and it never occured to me that it could be a actual medical problem, also do you know what sort of help you can get for this as from what i gather there is no "cure" as such is there? i mean can the child be given medication like for example a child with adhd could be prescribed ritalin to help them and give them a better quality of life and cope with it better?
  • I think you should definitely push your GP and get more help.

    I'm sure a few parents using this website said their child was taking some medication but not 100% sure whether that was for PDA or other conditions as sometimes PDA seems to be combined with other problems too. Others will no doubt post and let you know.

    With regard to what help you can get, I feel that just understanding my son's behaviour stems from this conditon has been of huge help. It has made me much more aware of how he works and how to cope with his behaviour. Strategies that work for 'normal' children just didn't work at all for him. I now really avoid making any demands unless I have to and then I phrase very carefully, for example, 'When your shoes are off, we can get a biscuit' not 'take your shoes off and then we'll get a biscuit'. I am also aware all the time of any signs of anxiety (I didn't even recoginise them before diagnosis!) and have taken positive steps to combat this. Plus - I don't blame myself and my parenting skills if we have a bad day! I know he'll probably never conform fully!

    We have also had a fantatsic early years worker (my son is only four) coming to our home and visitng pre-school to give whatever support we/they chose - mainly we chatted and shared strategies and tried to engage my son in play (left to his own devices he doesn't!) She has also helped us make the transition to primary school. Our psychologist too has been great, does regular observations in school, suggests ideas and gives advice for anything we're stumped with, etc.

    Good luck with your referral! I think I'm one of the lucky ones when it comes to how much support people get - so push for it if you have to!
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Hi aeriel,
    It does sound v much like PDA - have you gone through the diagnostic criteria on the website? It certainly sounds like a very familiar story! We are waiting to get a referral to the Elizabeth Newson Centre to get a diagnosis for our 7 year old Max. He fits all the criteria but some people on the site say theirs don't fit ALL the criteria but still have the diagnosis. I'm sure there are shades of grey and it stands to reason some people will be more affected than others. It sounds like you could do with the support of a psychologist again though - for your own sanity. We have a younger child (15 months) and had the age gap been any smaller I think it would have been a nightmare - it is starting to get more difficult as the little one's demands increase. Other children and Max seem to cause fireworks - worse when cousins come to stay - and he doesn't seem to care about anyone elses point of view at all. Good luck and let us know what happens. Margo x
  • aeriel
    Posts: 4
    hi,
    just a quick post to say thankyou very much for your replies, i am going to the gp next week to get a referal back to the hospital so i will post again when i have some more news. thanx again x
  • I think you are definitely doing the right thing going to see gp.

    I agree with other posts, plus another thing which a formal diagnosis may help with is getting some support from the school (if she has trouble with social skills or making friends they may offer to help her learn these skills, or if she has anger management issues there may be other support they can offer/ refer to???)

    I can relate to the behaviours you describe because my son often does the same kind of things!
    Best wishes, let us know how you get on :D
  • Hi mango69

    Im new here and i was reading ur post and what u describe of ur son is very much like my son. We have been for assessment today at the Elizabeth Newson Centre and they have given me info on PDA and pointed me in the direction of this site which i think is a godsend. To read stories of what T (my 6 yr old son) is doing i realise i really am not the only one having the exact same behaviours & challenges.

    I cant say nothing right most of the time and he shuts himself away refusing to interact, this is with me and other family members and friends. T is VERY violent, he often bites drawing blood and boy does he hurt as he is very strong and quick with kicks to my face and punches to my body repeatedly. He has no patience and needs things his way or else! well i dont want the or else and i realise what i will get if i dont follow his demands.

    I was happy with the Elizabeth Newson Centre's findings today and i found them lovely people who genuinely cared about Ts difficulties after me raising concerns from when T was aged 2, over 4 yrs of battling and going for this 2nd opinion.

    I wish u all the best in ur determination to get answers and help believe me u need it, whether severe or mild the disorder is life long and the earlier the intervention the better in the long run regarding their quality of life.

    Bambi x
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Hi Bambi,
    Welcome to the site - and really glad you had an assessment at the EN centre. We had ours about 6 weeks ago and are just waiting for the report. We found them really supportive and boy it was so good to hear that there are other kids like your own. Max certainly is PDA according to them but I am dying to see what the report suggests. Hope you find this site helpful - I generally post when things are very bad or very good as its such a rollercoaster in our house. Been really good recently generally but I know it will all change soon. I hope we can all be supportive for each other Margo xxxx
  • Wow so ur gonna have ur report very soon i bet u cant wait! i hope u are pleased with the results and the help & support is gonna be there for all of u and by god do we need it hun, i wont ever play down how hard life is living with T and if i did it would only hinder him so why would i want to do that.

    EN really believe PDA in what they saw with T yestaday, along with his life discussion sessions and i gave them video & pic evidence of his meltdowns and bruises that he gives me during his meltdowns.

    I do have every faith in EN providing an accurate as poss diagnosis and help with suggestions of what is needed for Ts care plan.

    Bambi x
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