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PDA information card
  • Lixina
    Posts: 289
    Awhile back I posted my attempt at making a card to briefly explain PDA for emergency situations. My Dad told me it had too much writing and I needed something more concise.

    I found AANE's Asperger Syndrome cards and decided to edit one of them. On the front they have contact information and diagnosis information, and on the back they have a list of traits and recommendations. Here's my edited version of the back for PDA:

    I have Newson Syndrome, a social/communication disability related to autism.
    Because of my Newson Syndrome, I may
    _ Panic if yelled at, and lash out if touched or physically restrained.
    _ Misinterpret things you tell me or ask me to do.
    _ Not be able to answer your questions.
    _ Appear not to be listening or paying attention.
    _ Tend to interpret statements literally.
    _ Appear rude or say things that sound tactless, especially when anxious or confused.
    _ Become anxious or unresponsive in reaction to loud noises or flashing lights.
    _ Panic and resist when given direct commands.
    I would like to cooperate. To help me cooperate, PLEASE:
    _ Clearly identify yourself as a law enforcement officer/first responder.
    _ Call one of my emergency contacts. (Please see reverse side of this card.)
    _ Do not assume that my Newson traits constitute suspicious behavior.
    _ Avoid touching me or restraining me.
    _ Speak to me in normal, calm, non-confrontational tones.
    _ Phrase instructions as suggestions rather than commands, and explain the reason why it is important.
    _ Offer me a piece of paper and a pen as my writing may be less affected than my speech.

    Do you think that sounds good? I'm really worried that if I don't explain it right they might think I'm badly behaved rather than trying my best but unable to cope. Then again, if I don't explain it at all, they're even more likely to think that.

    By the way, I called it Newson Syndrome because I think that gives a better impression than 'Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome'.
  • Moose
    Posts: 1,843
    Sounds good to me and I totally understand your use of Newson's syndrome.

    The points convey major points for PDA, but I guess the ultimate question is how does it make you feel?
    I appreciate it is impossible to cover every eventuality and anticipate every occasion where you may need to use the card, but I would imagine that this would work for you in most.
    However, you must have confidence in your card and be happy with it. The last thing you would want is to be in a pressured situation and then be worrying whether or not to present your card.
    I know for my son unless he had 100% confidence, the burden of choice ( to use or not use the card) could be too great.
    Would the inclusion of a web address for NAS or PDA contact group site ( for further info) add authenticity/credibility for the reader?

    It is a great idea and a positive self-help measure. I would suggest carrying it with you and see how it goes. You can always amend or tweak points if you need to.

    The only thing I might add for my son, would be 'give me plenty of time to respond to questions, it can take me time to gather my thoughts.' or something similar
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