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Any help welcome
  • Lesley
    Posts: 21
    hi,
    My son Richard was diagnosed with PDA at EYDC a year and half ago. He also has bowel problems. The local education authority wanted to keep him in mainstream school with support but this was imposible, he was excluded from school at least four times and in the end was only allowed to attend half days because they could not cope with him. After a lot of pushing from me and the senco at his mainstream school we finally got him a place at a special needs school. This works better for him but we still have problems and would like some advice of where to go to help him be able to control his violent outburst. He recently had to be excluded from this school for throwing chairs around the classroom, and often comes home with self inflicted injuries when he has these outbursts.

    I would be glad of any advice, we live in West Yorkshire and apart from the Child and adolesnt mental health service (for whom there is a 29 week waiting list) don't know who else to contact.

    Lesley
  • Pamela
    Posts: 205
    Lesley, I am sorry you are having a hard time with Richards outbursts. I can't give you any words of wisdom. What I can tell you is that we to are having trouble with Olivia's violent outbursts - although hers are not at school (she is in a MLD special school) but in every other environment. We have been to our local child and family therapy unit and they insist that we shouldn't try and pigeon hole her behaviours as PDA. I think the therapist has the wrong end of the stick as far as our situation goes - we know why she behaves the way she does, unlike many families they get there who need to know why?
    We have recently been visited at home by the headmaster of a SPLD school - Olivia was fine with him for the first few minutes while he was doing what she wanted, but as soon as he said no and began to put demands on her she went mad and was both physically and verbally abusive to him. Finally it took both him and me to bring her in from outside (an arm each) while she was still kicking, spitting and shouting at him. Olivia was diagnosed Jan 03 at the EYDC.
  • Lesley
    Posts: 21
    Hi,
    It is good to hear that I'm not the only one having these problems, because although I now know what makes Richard they way he is in the back of my mind I always think did I do something wrong, what if I had done things diferently?

    Richard's outburst are largely at school but can happen whenever, but the worst are at school. The school are very good and are working really hard to help him as best they can. He is getting more violent generally and continually makes noises, either high pitched screaming or some other noise.

    He gets very emotional sometimes and has very low self esteem, which is really worrying. If he is praised he doesn't like it and it can set him off. He often tells me I'm beautiful and he loves me but if I say to him he is gorgeous he says that he is not and tells me that he is ugly. Of course I tell him he is not. The school have noticed that his self esteem is really low aswell.

    A lot of he time Richard can be very chatty and pleasent, he is quite an intelligent child.
  • MHO
    Posts: 111
    Hi Lesley
    How old is your son Richard? My granddaughter is nine years old now but her significant difficulties were first noticed when she began attending her first primary school when she was four years old and led to her too having extremely low self-esteem. She had very poor small motor skills and could not write or draw or use scissors effectively. We suspect that the teacher used to ridicule her in front of the other children so she gave up trying and reacted by scribbling on the other children's work. I remember once trying to encourage her to draw a picture when she was here with me one day. She managed to make a few lines and rough circles on the paper but when I praised her effort she scrumpled it and threw it on the floor, stating emphatically that it was "rubbish." All that was a long time ago but her low self-esteem remained with her through several different school placements, through many temporary and one permanent exclusions and througout a year at home with no schooling whatsoever. My granddaughter was diagnosed with PDA at the EYDC in February 2004. She currently attends a very good special school that caters mainly for MLD children and her self esteem has soared since she began to realise that she has real capabilities. She is now able to accept praise and to believe in herself, which is wonderful. Her behaviour is still challenging but, thanks to a dedicated head teacher and his staff, she is a much happier child than she ever was before. I hope that in time Richard too will learn to believe in himself.
  • Lesley
    Posts: 21
    Hi,

    Richard is nine years old also, the problems strarted to be recognised when Richard went to nursery and just two year ago this November he was diagnosed with PDA at EYDC.

    The school do their very best to boost Richard self esteem and it has improved (not 100%but better). Before he went to the school he now attends he was at a mainstream school and he was very low and I couldn't say that I blame the teachers, they simply didn't know how to handle him. When he was at mainstream school other children knew how easy it was to set him off and did this for a bit of a laugh and to see what would happen.

    I've read quite a few of the posts from other people on this discussion board and can recognise the problems that most have mentioned. I still have family members who are of the opinion that "he should just be taught to do as he is told" but I know that it is more than that.

    I am a working single parent and the thing I found most difficult was when Richard was really low and I couldn't get him the help he needed, but things are looking better now and we are managing at the moment.

    Lesley
  • MHO
    Posts: 111
    Hi Lesley
    I'm glad things are better for you now and hope they will long continue to be so. As a single working mother it must be particularly difficult for you manage. How do you cope in the school holidays? After-school clubs and holiday clubs are usually very wary about taking on children with behavioural difficulties and there seem to be very few clubs available for children with special needs.
  • Lesley
    Posts: 21
    Hi Margaret,

    You are right there aren't many after school or holiday clubs etc. that will take Richard when you explain what the problems are with him. I have been told by one group that runs a holiday scheme for children with special needs that they don't know if they can cope with a child with extreme behaviour difficulties because most of their staff are volunteers and not trained to deal with this.

    I did have a child minder a few years ago but she said that she couldn't cope with him and since then I have been relying on family members or having to take him to work with me. I do dread school holidays! :(

    Lesley
  • radmom
    Posts: 1
    My son, aged 7 has a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder, he also has attachment/trust issues as he was placed with us for adoption (age 4)after a tough start in life. Reading a bit about PDA it is clear our son avoids demands using behaviours ranging from crying, manipulating, tantruming for hours, doing it very slowly, acting as if he simply cannot do a simple thing that we have seen him do so many times. Do others find your children capable, but only compliant on the child's terms? Through therapeutic input we have found some useful strategies for his demand avoidance. One is to give him options, like if it's something he does very slow as a way of avoiding it, we tell him he can do it 'slow as a snail, or fast as a 7yr old.' either way is fine and after we comment on what he chose- oh that was fast as a 7-yr-old, good for you. another thing we learned was if we have "the units of concern" then our son doesn't need to be concerned. This is true of most hygiene tasks-he used to refuse to brush teeth, bathe etc. Now, we give him an opportunity and if he chooses not to, it's his decision. I know it sounds absurd, it did to us-we thought he'd never wash for ages, but now (after a few months of using swimming days and 1-week showere) he is asking for a bath or shower about 3-4times a week. When he asks, he washes no problem.

    Someone mentioned self-esteem... something that was suggested for our son was to get him to praise himself. So if he does something he was told, I pretend I didn't know it was him, ask him where is the elf who did that chore(I'd like to thank him), and he jumps up and down shouting "I did it! I did it!" also, direct praise, or over generalised praise is too much for him. It has to be specific to that moment- so I can't say "wow you're great at puzzles!" only if I want to be sure he doesn't do anymore! I might comment, to my partner so he can overhear, that 'tom did his 70pc spiderman puzzle today. He found all the pieces-amazing.' That way he doesn't feel pressured that it'll be expected every time. :D
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