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school trouble
  • Connor
    Posts: 111
    Subject: school trouble
    Finally after years of 'puzzled' professionals and not sure where to go next we were given a possible diagnosis for our son . After reading the description of PDA behaviour we were amazed such an accurate description of our son could be made by people who havent even met him.
    Since starting school we have been on a massive decline. The school have never met a child quite like him and are at their wits end. (Join the club!). The head suggested that in order to avoid exclusion we should only put him in school 2 hours a day!!!!!!!! He has already got full time 1-1 support thanks to us pushing to get help before he started.We do not believe this is the answer, not least because of his ossession with me, his Mum. Also he has got someone there solely for him!
    Have any of you had similar responses from schools and what have you done? I have just given up my own teaching post of 3 days a week after one term as I found it impossible to do with a child like this and a demanding class. I have been phoned three times by the school this week to fetch him, twice because he had fallen asleep!!??? (I would have thought they would be enjoying the respite!) and once because he had lost the plot. He had 'trashed' the classroom 2 weeks before because he didnt want to go in to watch the pantomime.( Typical PDA behaviour?)

    Do any of you have any stategies we can suggest to the school, other than what is on the main site? We have given them a copy of these. Looking forward to a response
  • We were told we needn't feel that we had to send our son full time when he went into reception. He has an August birthday so was very young and many children are not ready for the way most schools operate these days, certainly not full time, and not ready for that much separation. Plus I am very much opposed to the way schools have become about childcare to ensure that both parents are economically active.

    However, this didn't really seem to fit his needs. Interestingly experience and careful observation has shown us that the worst episodes just slightly precede the emergence of a cold, so that he often does need to be off then.

    It is tricky because inclusion without any conformity isn't inclusion, but I have felt that school have prioritised things like assembly over reading, although as time has gone on he has got a tremendous amount out of some of those assemblies.

    How good is the one to one support? I feel it is invaluable - we had a massive difference within three days of introducing one to one. It does need to be someone who isn't going to do things for the child and you can end up with your child effectively being taught most of the time by someone who may be completely unqualified. Though as the Elizabeth Newsom Centre say, charisma is crucial.

    We have friends with an autistic son in the same year group and they are being asked to keep him at home on Friday afternoons, without a formal exclusion. I feel that these should be exclusions so that everyone knows that the school has been unable to meet the child's needs. The irony is that the ed psych has refused to support a statement for this child. I am so glad now that because of a shortage of staff we didn't have the permanent ed psych but a locum who was a tremendous support to us.
  • Kelly
    Posts: 28

    My daughter is on her third school and is now finally full time with 1 2 1 support. She is a little older (aged 7) and it has taken time for her to become more involved with the class activities and perhaps the school could look at what is important at this stage and overlooking what isn't, for example my daughter couldn't cope with assemblies etc. so instead she went into the class room with her support and read books, lunchtime was a nightmare so we arranged for her to go in first with a class mate or two and get her lunch first, sit where she wanted - that way she was controlling enough for her not to feel anxious but conformed enough for the school to feel as though they weren't giving in. If Georgina was having an outburst her support worker would take her into the school hall or out into the playground to run it off and then she would slowly go back into school.

    I know I have been really lucky to find a school so willing to work with me and Georgina and can only hope that your school is the same. There is hope though! Georgina now spends 80% of her time in class and has actually formed a friendship with one other child. Another thing that worked was giving Georgina access to a member of the staff who wasn't involoved in teaching - in her case the school secretary, that way if it got too much she could go into the office where no pressure was put on and just have a chat with the secretary...

    I hope this helps.

    Hang in there!

  • Connor
    Posts: 111
    After a TERRIBLE week at school Jack has had 2 very good days. Interestingly he was suffering/ recovering from a cold last week. We also found lots of discarded 'clever sweets' (fish oils) and thinking back the behaviour we saw was that of a time without fish oils. They really do work!! As you can imagine we are having to be very clever in how we get Jack to eat them. He usually does but perhaps the cold made them taste horrible for him.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I must say that I appreciate the school find him difficult as we do ourselves but partnership and some kind of empathy is vital. His support worker is working very hard and has done lots of research but the idea of someone else to go to is a good idea, for him and her! A bit like the good cop / bad cop routine we have at home
    Hopefully things will continue to improve. Interestingly Jack loves school, I think he enjoys the mental anguish he can cause!? Until they ask him to do something of course then look out......! Bless him.
  • I thought omega 3 was worth a try for my boys but fish oil isn't acceptable to me for a variety of reasons (heavy metal contamination, not vegetarian, not environmentally friendly) so I use flax oil instead. I have liquid myself but I have vegetarian capsules for them - interestingly it is only the child with PDA who will take them! I think they probably taste more acceptable than fish oil, so you could try them instead?

    I haven't noticed any difference in functioning as a result but I think of it as like the multi-vitamin/mineral.
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