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In Mainstream?
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    I went into a local comp to deliver training on PDA, at their request I might add.


    All the time I was talking about what was needed and how to manage these behaviours the more in the back of my mind I couldn't help thinking over and over again, you don't have the facilities and the resources and the staff to provide a proper education for these kids, not with a class of 30 kids around them.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,598
    I have a tendancy to agree with you in most cases but I suppose there are differing degrees of PDA like there is an autistic spectrum? Therefore in some cases, especially where the child does not have any accademic learning difficulities:( if that can exist) then maybe a mainstream school with a special unit might be the right combination. I think Mango69's child is in one such school.
    However in saying all of the above I do feel children with PDA do need special needs/PDA experts to teach them as they are so complexed and challenging.
    I can imagine you felt that the teachers weren't really taking what you said on board but may be they couldn't take it on board because like you say, they just don't have the resources, the staff or the facilities.
    I feel the big primary(400) and secondary(2000) schools don't give our PDA/Autistic children a chance. Bring back small schools!!!!
  • dirtmother
    Posts: 898
    Interesting! The general information we had from the ENC said that mainstream was usually preferable - and they are associated with a special school for ASDs.

    My son is in mainstream primary and I don't think any other placement would be appropriate - and there are major academic difficulties. He's the only child in the LEA with PDA anyway! He has a communication disorder but the language unit felt so wrong for him (and the SALT said that she wouldn't recommend it for him either) I have a friend who works in an SLD school and she tells me he has a better staffing ratio than many of her children.

    I feel so much depends on the school and staff themselves, although I think it is insane to be expecting a school to fund the amount of extra support required through their normal budget.
    It's great to hear of training in PDA being provided. We've really seen how valuable it is.
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Well done Amanda for going in there and doing it! No matter how futile it felt, what you are doing is introducing PDA to people who may not have heard of it before or want more information and they in turn will be passing on that information to others. Spreading the word at the moment I feel is the most important point you can make. Wherever possible, the ENC recommend mainstream with the right support, which I think what you are saying is distinctly lacking and I could not agree more. But its only by informing people of the diagnosis and it becoming much more well known will it be more and more possible for mainstream teachers to learn about the techniques required. As we have seen from discussions on here, some children with PDA are quite passive at school and so being amongst mainstream children may be very plausable. If like mine, they are very demand avoidant at school, then unless there is very good support preferably with an integrated resource, the placements unfortunately very often break down.
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    I suppose running the support service I've become a bit cynical but it's hard not to when there are so many parents contacting us with kids that have been excluded because schools have been unable to manage the behaviours.

    My own son, as you know, is in a special school and I have to be honest, they have to send him home all too often as he is violent and very volatile.

    I've only met one young person who's made it through to the end of year 11 with PDA and that particular child was excluded umpteen times.
    The resources aren't there in big comprehensive schools, not for children who need, in my opinion, specialist care and careful management.

    I have experience of primary kids managing in main stream, I wish I could say the same after transition. It's scary.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,598
    Yes, you have made a good point there. Most of the children with PDA that I am aware of who are in mainstream school are still in Primary school. I too feel that bigger problems await at Secondary school for PDA children. Both of my boys had to leave mainstream, one in Primary one in secondary.
    Both mine and Amanda's teenage boys with PDA are in a special school. I don't want to be too negative but a lot of work would have to be done between parents and school to help a PDA child in mainstream secondary school succeed.
  • jeanuk2
    Posts: 37
    My 15yr old son is in a PRU and I attended an open evening on Monday night and was told he has been sitting in a locked toilet for 30 mins to an hour on a number of occasions when he had become stressed and unable to cope with the teachers demands/ comments.
    The staff admitted that they have become very frustrated with him and a member of staff told us she had decided she would use 'shock' tactics (verbal abuse really) to get him to do the work, as he needed to understand how his behaviour was damaging his future. (He was totally refusing to look at her, to do anything she asked, or to talk to her).All her behaviour has achieved is that our son is now adamant he will never go back into the unit unless they sack her as he will not be in the same room as her. Roll on the 20th July when we go to look around a local NAS school which has a number of PDA children already.
  • Amanda
    Posts: 281
    My goodness Jean, that sort of 'shock' tactic in an agressive child would result in a violent conclusion, I have no doubt of that.
    Bless him, sounds like he's really struggling and the silly woman, by handling the situation the way she has, has given him the motivation he needed to avoid the whole issue of school. Good luck with the visit, an ASD school has definitely been Marks saviour, hope it;s the same for you too.
  • Maryann
    Posts: 53
    i agree with amanda that sounds very damaging. its a mental disorder not a difficult child, they have no understanding of the impact of their actions even normal children dont to a degree. but pda/autism children really struggle with understanding consequinces. just like a physical ilness that cannot be cured, you cannot fight the problems and think you can cure it, you have to manage it and wait till it improves.

    as for schools im very lucky with mine, shes in mainstream and due to her unique issues she would not prosper in a special school at this age, but im realy worried about secondary school.
  • My daughter started her secondary education last week..... at a grammar school! Her anxiety started to build from the tuesday preceding her start date on the 6th sept... nothing much at first ... prolonged silences and finger picking.... by wednesday we were on to an attempt at being stubborn and a few tears...thursday morning...the dreaded day came and she sat sobbing and took a monumental effort on her part to compose herself but she made it to school on time...we live 200 yards from the school but it was the longest 200 yds of her life. School were aware of her condition and have saught advice from us as parents and the special school that i work in too.... as a result she was given time out cards which she can leave on her desk if she feels too stressed to cope with the lesson she's in! i have to say that its a brilliant safety net but it did produce some anxiety about her being 'different' and it drawing attention to her even more (she's very self concious).
    friday morning was marginally better even though she said that she'd quite enjoyed her day at school but again she went and has now completed her 8th day in a row without any major problems except for one.....she hasn't been able to eat at school...a few grapes and a biscuit in 8 days.... only last 3 days that she's been able to eat at home too and normally she lives in the fridge! her anxiety has been so great that she just throws up whatever goes in although she assures me she's been able to eat most of her packed lunch today.
    By december she may just have realxed enough to make some new friends too!
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,598

    I think your daughter is a star!
    Each day she has overcome more anxiety than most of us would encounter in a life time.
    I do hope that she can over come her anxiety if she continues to keep going and doesn't encounter any inappropriate talk or behaviour from other children or teachers!
    If parents, child and school do work together it shows inclusion can work sometimes.
    It must be very hard for you to watch her in the mornings?
    I really hope this works for you all.
    Keep posting
    Take Care
  • Thanxs Webb

    The sad thing about it is that one of the kids that i work with has a brother at the same school and he's Aspergic..... He was excluded yesterday for barging into a teacher who was stood blocking his path through a doorway when he was trying to get out of a stressful situation! So, although the school are seemingly supportive, i worry that the ignorance and sheer bloody mindedness of some staff may eventually cause a major incident for her. god help them if it happens as i'm not very nice when i'm being 'reasonable'.

    She thinks the boys in her class are stupid because they keep going up to the girls and asking them out!!!! That'll change in a couple of years time methinks :wink:
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,598

    I think your daughter is doing really well.
    I have an Asperger boy now 16, he came out of mainstream at 12 because he couldn't cope so I understand your worries about the Asperger's boy and also your concerns about your daughter.
    The best advice I can give is to keep going into school and making them more aware of your daughters problems and to iron out any little problems she may be having. Then they don't mount up and cause a breakdown in communication between you and school.
    It sounds like you can handle that!!!

    My 13 yr old PDA son has not really realised there are 2 different sexes in the world yet!
    My Asperger son 16 has never been interested in girls, he's never had a girl friend or kissed a girl. He claims he has a FRIEND in America called Emily 15 yrs who he likes and would love to meet one day, so I think thats progress!
    I think most children with a pervasive development disorder do mature late.

    Take Care
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