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School Refusal without diagnosis
  • jaxpdx
    Posts: 4
    I am in the U.S. and it is suspected my son has Autism. He is 10 y.o.. I have tried to get an official diagnosis (his current therapist believes he exhibits behaviors consistent with autism, but he is not in the position to diagnose). I also believe my son has Autism based on what I have read and learned and I believe PDA explains my son exactly. Here is the problem, PDA is not something familiar to providers I have spoke with here in the U.S. The other issue is my son’s refusal to participate with a psychologist for evaluation and diagnosis. He refuses to attend school. He refuses to do many things. He displays extreme anxiety when pushed and reward/punishment has been non-effective. The school has sent a teacher to the home but he refuses to participate. Because I have not had an official diagnosis his behavior is often looked at by school officials and his primary care dr. As being difficult and possible oppositional Defiant Disorder or conduct disorder. I do not feel these best guess offers of a diagnosis are accurate what-so-ever based on the myriad of other symptoms my son has. Any suggestions on what to do or who to consult. I realize I am in the U.S. and specific information to my location is not possible. Thank you so much.

    For other U.S. parents/adults seeking assistance I stumbled across the following: list of professionals.txt
  • KobiKobi
    Posts: 30
    Hi Jaxpdx

    Sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time getting the correct diagnosis, how frustrating to put it mildly.
    Unfortunately I'm not in the US so can't help, but there are other's from the US on the forum so hopefully someone will be able to advise you. In the meantime, it might be worth joining the member's private forum as a lot of people feel more comfortable posting there. There's also a section for parents/carers to share strategies or ask advice. If you'd like to register, please email
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    I'm afraid I don't know how the system works in the USA, our Inernational followers here maybe able to help with more local advice, or perhaps try one of the American groups listed on our support pages: in particular:

    This charity in America can help families who suspect their child has a PDA diagnosis.

    You may find some information on our families pages that is helpful: and perhaps the education section for your son's teachers:

    Many of our children find it difficult to engage and participate and building up trust and a relationship is often a good starting point.... choosing an activity that you know your son is interested in (maybe a special interest) and then starting to do this yourself whilst leaving things available so he can join in can be a good starting point. Then you can have very gentle chats. Keep getting down to his level and playing/engaging in things that he enjoys will help the relationship grow and hopefully so will the conversations.

    I hope this helps a little. Please do keep posting.
  • jaxpdx
    Posts: 4
    Thank you all for the support. It gives me such relief to not feel alone or as bewildered as I did prior to finding this great forum.

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