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Which therapies are the most effective ?
  • Kallie79
    Posts: 27
    Hello folks.
    I just wanted to ask around for views on which therapies are thought to be the most effective for PDA children?
    My son is 9. We've been to camhs and are awaiting help. I just wondered what if anything in the way of therapies is the best route to go? CBT or DBT or anything else at all?
    Sorry for muddled post but I'm extremely exhausted today.
    Thanks everyone.
    K
  • Em83Em83
    Posts: 62
    Hi Kallie, I wanted to say Hi. I do not have much experience of therapy as my son is only 9. We tried Art Therapy which he would not engage in with CAMHS. He does have therapies at his specialist school including movement therapy, he does a lot of learning through craft and stealth learning there. Not therapy as such but sensory work, stealth learning and talking through things as they happen works well for him. If we try to discuss things direct he cannot cope with the demand of that so everything we do is more indirect at the moment. I have heard great things about art therapy. Hopefully some other people will have more experience! Em
  • HarHer
    Posts: 317
    Hi Kallie,

    I am not an expert by any means. I also think that what may be beneficial and accessible for one individual may be less so for another.

    Both my sons have had CBT and I think it would have been more beneficial if the therapist had adapted the sessions a little more to include the boys' interests and, in the case of my youngest son, to make him feel he had more control over the proceedings. One problem we faced with my youngest was that the therapist wanted the session to last for an hour, but my son could only manage to stay in the room for 15 minutes.

    That said, I have heard that CBT can be very helpful.

    Graded exposure (which may be part of CBT) did help my son with his phobia of germs. However, he was very much on board with this therapy and that made a difference.

    Family therapy could have been more helpful if the context was a little different.

    Animal type therapies either formal or informal have been really helpful with both my sons.

    Sound therapy has been used with my eldest and he attends formal sound therapy sessions.

    I have heard good things about social groups which use themes such as Lego as a base.

    Keeping a mood diary was beneficial to my eldest, but this became problematic later because the content reinforced his negativity.

    I think it may be useful to ask what CAMHS have to offer in terms of therapies.

    Hopefully, something can be found that will be helpful.



  • Kallie79
    Posts: 27

    Em83 said:

    Hi Kallie, I wanted to say Hi. I do not have much experience of therapy as my son is only 9. We tried Art Therapy which he would not engage in with CAMHS. He does have therapies at his specialist school including movement therapy, he does a lot of learning through craft and stealth learning there. Not therapy as such but sensory work, stealth learning and talking through things as they happen works well for him. If we try to discuss things direct he cannot cope with the demand of that so everything we do is more indirect at the moment. I have heard great things about art therapy. Hopefully some other people will have more experience! Em



    Hi Em83. Thanks for reaching out to say hi. My son is 9 too and exactly the same when it comes to answering questions. He just cannot and will not do it. Even a simple question like what did you have for lunch? He will give a nonsensical answer or just make silly noises. I'm involved with CAMHS but I don't know how that will go to be honest.
    Tried play therapy but it didn't work. I'm just so so tired all the time.

  • Kallie79
    Posts: 27
    Hi Em83. Thanks for reaching out to say hi. My son is 9 too and exactly the same when it comes to answering questions. He just cannot and will not do it. Even a simple question like what did you have for lunch? He will give a nonsensical answer or just make silly noises. I'm involved with CAMHS but I don't know how that will go to be honest.
    Tried play therapy but it didn't work. I'm just so so tired all the time.
  • Kallie79
    Posts: 27
    Thanks HarHer
    I've been told to do charts and make prompt cards which I have done. It helps but not always effective. I like the sound of the sensory therapies. X
  • Em83Em83
    Posts: 62
    Hi Kallie79 I know the feeling it is exhausting! It is worth seeing what Camhs have to offer it may differ by area, Also like harher says try different things to see what works. Animal therapy works really well with my son, informal like pets and formal like horse riding sessions!
  • Rubytuesday
    Posts: 256
    Hi Kallie79, I agree with the posters above that it depends on the individual. There’s so many different therapies out there. We’re still trying to find the right thing for my daughter who’s 14. She’s had some CBT type work and some graded exposure therapy but these weren’t helpful for her. However, they were delivered by s support worker who wasn’t an expert in ASD, and I wonder if they’d have been more effective if they’d been adapted for her. She’s hopefully going to a specialist school soon and they do music therapy which I’m hoping she may be able to access. As your son is younger I wonder if play therapy might be helpful? I’m a teacher in a mainstream school and it’s been really effective for some of the children I work with. We have also tried equine therapy - my daughter wasn’t in the right place to access it at the time, but I’m told it can be fantastic.
  • dirtmother
    Posts: 896
    When you ask what therapies are more useful, do you mean for whatever you are going to CAMHS for or for support living with PDA itself?

    If the latter, SLT delivered by a suitably qualified and experienced SLT and Sensory Integration Therapy delivered by a suitably qualified and experienced OT
  • June67
    Posts: 771
    Hi haven't found anything that works for my son yet therapy wise but have just got the number of a private OT who does sensory assessments and therapy which we will look into. The small amount of 'help' offered by CAMHS hasn't been suitable for him to access and family therapy was tricky as we couldn't all always get there and when we did pdaer was not participating or was upset at being talked about or became very disruptive, tbh husband when present wasn't much better.

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