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Four Yr old diagnosed
  • Archie
    Posts: 4
    My 4 yr old has been diagonosed with PDA but i'm not sure if anyone is actually realising what this means for his schooling. Their only concern is that they have a support worker at nursery for him that has restraining training or he can't go in!
    Not the best solution after only 1 major episode where he struck the Headmaster :oops:
    I feel that they are not dealing with his needs and just focussing on the negatives - aggression, loudness, defiance and not really learning about him. He has been into nursery only once for 3 hrs! How can i get the Head and teachers to try to intergrate him into the classroom?? He does have support from various professionals but not the school?? Why?
  • Garden
    Posts: 329
    Hello, I'm sorry, this must be very stressful for you.

    Does he have a Statement? Is this where the helper comes in? Sometimes they do seem to use helpers to keep children away from the others rather than trying to integrate the child. But I think it's useful to be really honest about his behaviours and whether or not it's practical for school to integrate him. Sometimes children are never going to integrate no matter how hard people try. I know an autistic boy who went to two different local schools - first of all the one our girls went to, then to another local school with a dedicated autism unit, and now he's at a special school (which the local authority pay for him to attend by taxi) because the first two couldn't cope. He was in my daughter's class and his behaviour was so challenging that really, having him in with the others was not an option, even though he had 1-1 help.

    But some schools are more inclusive than others. Have you spoken to your local Parent Partnership? They are there to help parents with their relations with school and can give you some advice - for example, we were told off the record that one of the schools we were considering for our daughter is not good with special needs, despite what they claimed in their brochure. They can come into school and help you with meetings etc. You might also like to speak to the people at ipsea (www.ipsea.org.uk) who specialise in helping parents navigate the special needs system.

    Good luck. Sometimes though you do need to consider changing schools. We changed school for our PDA daughter, but for different reasons than you - she was so compliant and just sat in the corner where everyone ignored her. We got nowhere with the school so we moved. Sometimes you just can't make them see what you can.
  • Archie
    Posts: 4
    No he doesn't have a Statement but i am just going through the motions to get him on a panel to go to a different school come Sept! A specialist school for learning disablilities. (I am going to see it on Friday). Yeah maybe i have to be honest and see that he may not integrate well in a large group as he is always wanting attention. What happens if he doen't get a place at this school? I will know in June but is that too late to try and build some kind of relationship at the school he's at now???
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,582
    Hi Archie

    Welcome to the site and I'm pleased you have managed to get a diagnosis for your son at such an early age, well done.

    It appears you have some major problems with his school to say the least!
    It's hard to give advice unless we know a few more facts.
    When was he diagnosed? Did school know about the diagnosis before he went to Nursery?
    Do school know anything about PDA, have they been on any courses, read any literature, had another child with PDA. Have you given them any leaflets on PDA?
    Is it the catchment school? Do school want your son or are they telling you to look elsewhere?

    Have any of your local support teams been into school to advise them, like Autism Outreach Team or Inclusion Support Service - all part of the LEA(or should be!).

    The school seem to have "over reacted" a little if your son has only been there once.
    He needs time to settle in and adjust to not being at home.

    If you are looking at other schools, have you looked at mainstream with a special unit OR an Autism specific special needs unit within a mainstream school.
    If you feel he has learning difficulties as well as the PDA a school for Autistic children maybe worth a look.(My son is in one and they are brilliant with their PDA children).

    In some counties an "Education Statement" is a must have. But in some counties it is not essential as support can be given to a special needs child without one in place. You will need to check this one out in your area.

    Hoping we can all help you more.
    Paula
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Hi Archie and welcome to the site.
    It is good that you have a diagnosis so early.... as long as people do take notice of it and try to use the strategies. Which area are you based?
    Margo
  • Lixina
    Posts: 289
    Reminds me a lot of my own school experience. My teachers would never admit that the way they related to me made my behavior worse. My parents tried to tell them that I was a kind child and only lashed out when I was scared, and that if I had more freedom I'd be more willing to obey them on the important things, but they never listened. Because I didn't perform in school, they insisted I was stupid, despite my IQ in the 130s. I wasn't diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum, much less demand avoidant, but they knew I had been traumatized, and demand avoidance is common with that as well (anyone can be demand avoidant if given too many demands, some people become so with less demands than others).
    I don't know how to convince the school. In my case, the only solution was to pull me from that school, and I wish my parents had done that much sooner than they did. I'm sure having been in that school so long was a big reason why I wasn't able to cope with my second school - they increased my demand avoidance with their 'obey me or else' policy.
    Is homeschooling feasible for you? I think the best teaching method for demand avoidant kids is 'unschooling' - the child chooses what, when and how to learn, with you as a guide and advisor. They might miss out on important subjects, but if they usually have that much freedom in how they learn, they'll be better able to tolerate being actively taught those specific subjects - or you can explain why they need to know that and let them decide on the plan for learning it. If you can't homeschool, see if you can find an 'open school' in your region - although they're less free than unschooling, they're better than regular schools for a child who hates being controlled.
  • Archie
    Posts: 4
    Yes! :D my son has a place at the Specialist school and starts in Sept. there were 8 places and he got one. They have another pupil there with PDA so they know how to cope with the demand avoidance. We are in Wolverhampton , we are still going through the motions to getting him statemented and hope this further adds to his case. Roll on Sept as he is only doing 1.1/2 hrs a day at school as they say they can't cope!
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Thats fantastic news - I am so glad you have found somewhere that understands him before he even goes. In my experience that is a major help. For a start you dont feel that YOU have to provide all the answers. Well done for getting the place. Keep us posted as to how he gets on. This will be a welcome relief for you to get a bit of time to yourself.
    Margo
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