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Acute exacerbation of PDA ?
  • Ja
    Posts: 8
    Hi, We believe that our 10yr old has PDA but feel he has become acutely worse over the last 3-4 weeks resulting in meltdowns and aggression at school, lots of swearing, becoming fixated on one pupil and consequences/justice. It is as though he is trying to accomplish every sign and PDA symptom in a short space of time! Up until now, school been occasionally rocky but in the main, ok. Intelligent. Articulate.
    Recently excluded for leaving school premises, damaging property and threatening other children. School return resulted in another exclusion, this time for longer. His reintegration meeting went horribly wrong. We think he was very anxious about meeting with educational social worker. Ended up having an anxiety meltdown after lots of arguing with head, SW, ripping posters etc off school classroom walls. Child very stressed ( plus all concerned !).

    Questions: Anyone seen a rapid 'deterioration' of PDA ? Puberty impact ? We have since taken to reducing demands and keeping things low key. Been out and about with other children today- football match player but seems a lot more tense than normal. Half term hit at right time ! Anyone seen an acute presentation like this ? Seems to be a lot more pronounced all of a sudden. Mainstream school teacher also describe his recent change and rigid thinking. 'Their way or no way'. Have a CAHMS appointment in the next 2-3 weeks hopefully as appt expedited. We can't think of any recent 'event' that could have triggered a deterioration. Home similar if sibling riling him !
    Ideas please re dealing with individual person obsessions/ consequences fixations.
    Many Thanks for your thoughts
    J
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    said:

    Hi, We believe that our 10yr old has PDA but feel he has become acutely worse over the last 3-4 weeks resulting in meltdowns and aggression at school, lots of swearing, becoming fixated on one pupil and consequences/justice. It is as though he is trying to accomplish every sign and PDA symptom in a short space of time! Up until now, school been occasionally rocky but in the main, ok. Intelligent. Articulate.
    Recently excluded for leaving school premises, damaging property and threatening other children. School return resulted in another exclusion, this time for longer. His reintegration meeting went horribly wrong. We think he was very anxious about meeting with educational social worker. Ended up having an anxiety meltdown after lots of arguing with head, SW, ripping posters etc off school classroom walls. Child very stressed ( plus all concerned !).

    Questions: Anyone seen a rapid 'deterioration' of PDA ? Puberty impact ? We have since taken to reducing demands and keeping things low key. Been out and about with other children today- football match player but seems a lot more tense than normal. Half term hit at right time ! Anyone seen an acute presentation like this ? Seems to be a lot more pronounced all of a sudden. Mainstream school teacher also describe his recent change and rigid thinking. 'Their way or no way'. Have a CAHMS appointment in the next 2-3 weeks hopefully as appt expedited. We can't think of any recent 'event' that could have triggered a deterioration. Home similar if sibling riling him !
    Ideas please re dealing with individual person obsessions/ consequences fixations.
    Many Thanks for your thoughts
    J



    Hi,
    Welcome to the Forum,

    I have two boys now 19 and 21. Neither have a formal diagnosis of ASD-PDA . The eldest his issues started being obvious around the same age . It was wrongly assumed over the years it was PTSD due to his fathers death . It's a tricky age . Have you any diagnosis so far e.g. ADHD , Aspergers from CAMHS ?

    Has the school tried using PDA Stratagies ? Are you using them at home ?

    There is an excellent link on here for dealing with siblings .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/families/siblings

    The further up the school system my boys got to the worse it became looking back . They were late diagnosis Aspergers at 17 and 18 . Apart from Peer pressure , hormones , exams ( nightmare) all these add to the anxiety .

    The need to control is a coping mechasim hence the behaviour in the Meeting . Outrageous behaviour because he must have been frightened by the presence of so many adults virtually telling him your behaviour must be acceptable . The child is both the teacher and the parent .
    Unless this situation is handled carefully on his return issues will occur . It's been my experience and I am still learning each day , think outside the box to get results .

    Your main priority is Safety . That's non negotiable . The rest goes in order of priority , wearing school uniform , turning up 30 minutes after the school bell has rang , that's a Demand in itself , it's explained in Ruth Fidlers Education book . It's brilliant but both School and home have to work as a tight ship together.

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/books

    Have you watched the Webinars ? There is new one about Education due out November from Phil Christie and Ruth Fidler , World leading experts which the school and yourselves I am sure will appreciate .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/webinars

    Are you in England , the Education Laws are different in Scotland where I live .

    I know how difficult and upsetting these situations are but for meltdowns to trying to defuse the situation , you can watch the anxiety rise , distraction is one of the best techniques . It's learning to choose your battles carefully . It's small things like sending too many texts to a mobile , each one is a Demand .

    There are lots of support groups out there . See if there is one beside you . You learn so much more from other parents . Training days are invaluable if you can make one . Everyone at school Teachers , classroom assistants , dinner ladies , janitor , all have to be on board and use PDA Stratagies .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/Support-and-advice

    Is he being bullied at school ? My eldest was bullied from P2 to S6 . Is there a possibility of dyslexia not being recognised ? It's a jig saw puzzle working out the reasons why for different situations . You must always have a Plan ABCD and be 10 steps ahead .

    Is he sleeping OK ? That can have major issues including sleep depravation staying up 24/36 hours . If sleep is an issue medication can be prescribed . Is he having issues with homework ?

    Lots of parents write notes to their children , use sign language as an indirect form of communication that's not a direct command .


    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/families

    It's all listed on this link but I have posted them separately just to explain as I went along .

    Good Luck. You are doing an amazing job .

    Pat xx


  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    Hi and welcome to the forum. We've experienced this sudden change ourselves but it occurred when our daughter started primary school. It felt like we had lost our daughter and gained an angry and aggressive stranger. It's quite a shock to the system and very emotional.

    I also run a support group and I know several families where this seemingly sudden change has also occurred at: transition from a first to junior school, in year 6 as worried about changing schools, during transition to year 7 or at the start of GCSEs and finally during puberty. I guess these are all significant milestones and they can just no longer mask how they feel.

    You mention your son is 10, does that put him in year 6? Could this be an invisible trigger?

    Also, do you know what the trigger for the first incident was that caused him to leave school, etc? It's really important to try to identify these in order to find solutions for next time. Reintegration meetings should be sensitively handled and again the real reason for the breakdown needs to be found so this can be addressed. If he is displaying PDA traits you may wish to ask for a formal review of his needs as they may not have thought to take special needs into account, unless of course you already have an ASD diagnosis, IEP, etc.

    Obsessions is a hard one, our youngest is constantly wanting to be with our eldest and we now have to agree every morning a plan so she knows when she can play, what they can do and for how long. Ending is still very difficult but we enforce it so our eldest gets time away. There is a siblings section here which you might find helpful: https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/families/siblings

    Do have a look at the webinars too as they offer a great insight into PDA and how our children can be affected by many things.
    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/webinars

    I hope this has helped a little but please do keep posting and we'll all try to help as best we can.

  • Ja
    Posts: 8
    Hi, Thanks both. 10 year old in year 6. Think he is probably stressed by other school children. Some better behaved than others. He hasn't got a diagnosis yet. We only discovered PDA ourselves about 1 month ago after reading NAS. Lightbulb ! I live in Wales and locally, PDA not recognised. GP and we have have asked CAHMS to send over the border to get PDA diagnosis from centres that do recognise it but CAHMS won't. Very annoying as this would happen with adult needing heart surgery etc not done locally. Have bought one of the PDA books for us and school. Enlightening reading. Am pushing on all fronts. Got an educational psychologist coming to assess at school mid Nov ..if child manages to return ! I agree return reintegration meeting needs handling differently. They were super stressed before they went in but it was a 'must' that they had to see the educ SW and the head. Will try and get way of doing the necessary replanned and reassessed. The acute anxiety attack of a child in acute mental meltdown is not something I want to see again. Meltdowns in temper tantrums in supermarket is one thing but suffering in classroom corner from acute anxiety was another. Will look at sibling stuff.

    Thanks again
    J
  • Questions: Anyone seen a rapid 'deterioration' of PDA?



    Yes. When our eldest had been off school for a long time with mental ill-health and had to restart at a new placement. She became violent, aggressive, bullying, harassing and impossible for 6 whole months - but all at home, masking in school. Her OCD went rampant also. She had all demands resolved whilst she was off and having to go back almost sent her over the edge. It was during this time that PDA was first under consideration (existing ASD diagnosis) as I had previously put it all down to Asperger's co-morbid anxiety making her make excuses.

    Sometimes they can have delayed reactions as well. So the reintegration meeting might have been more than he could handle and it's had a knock-on effect generally, as he's having to face up that the expectation of being in school is there.
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    said:

    Hi, Thanks both. 10 year old in year 6. Think he is probably stressed by other school children. Some better behaved than others. He hasn't got a diagnosis yet. We only discovered PDA ourselves about 1 month ago after reading NAS. Lightbulb ! I live in Wales and locally, PDA not recognised. GP and we have have asked CAHMS to send over the border to get PDA diagnosis from centres that do recognise it but CAHMS won't. Very annoying as this would happen with adult needing heart surgery etc not done locally. Have bought one of the PDA books for us and school. Enlightening reading. Am pushing on all fronts. Got an educational psychologist coming to assess at school mid Nov ..if child manages to return ! I agree return reintegration meeting needs handling differently. They were super stressed before they went in but it was a 'must' that they had to see the educ SW and the head. Will try and get way of doing the necessary replanned and reassessed. The acute anxiety attack of a child in acute mental meltdown is not something I want to see again. Meltdowns in temper tantrums in supermarket is one thing but suffering in classroom corner from acute anxiety was another. Will look at sibling stuff.

    Thanks again
    J



    Hi,
    There are specific support groups in Wales .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/blogsandfacebookgroups

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/blog/2017/10/upcoming-courses-and-events

    There are training courses in Swansea and Cheltenham if you could travel . If they are full it's worth asking to be put on a reserve list in case anyone can't make it who has booked .

    http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Dr-Andrea-Mawthorpe.pdf

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/forum#/discussion/5628/son-14-out-of-control

    Just found this link .

    Good Luck with the Psychologist .xx

    The awareness in Wales is definatly growing , it's so infuriating it's a Post Code Lottery like elsewhere .



    Pat xx
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    It's so frustrating having to fight all the time for appropriate specialists but please keep pushing so you can find the answers that you all need. Do keep In touch, all the best. X
  • (OP your username is invisible to me, is it my PC playing up or do you have a secret way to login with a spacebar keypress as your username!)
  • Just before half term, especially Autumn half term is the absolute classic time for things to be particularly bad.

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