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Is 2 years old too early to suspect PDA?
  • Zebedee
    Posts: 4
    Hi all,
    I am new to the forum and reeling under the possibility that my little grandson may well have PDA. I need advice as to how to proceed at this early stage. Poor little thing is only two but is struggling and his parents are being battered trying to care for him. Should we sit on our hands and deny the situation or take some sort of action to get the condition confirmed or excluded?
    My daughter, a teacher, is in complete denial that anything is amiss because he is so smart and way ahead of his peers in motor and language development. I could weep when I see them battered unendingly, by his behavioural difficulties. I keep trying to tell myself that we are suffering the terrible twos but cannot get past the fact that all this started at birth.
    I would really appreciate your input........
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,589

    Zebedee said:

    Hi all,
    I am new to the forum and reeling under the possibility that my little grandson may well have PDA. I need advice as to how to proceed at this early stage. Poor little thing is only two but is struggling and his parents are being battered trying to care for him. Should we sit on our hands and deny the situation or take some sort of action to get the condition confirmed or excluded?
    My daughter, a teacher, is in complete denial that anything is amiss because he is so smart and way ahead of his peers in motor and language development. I could weep when I see them battered unendingly, by his behavioural difficulties. I keep trying to tell myself that we are suffering the terrible twos but cannot get past the fact that all this started at birth.
    I would really appreciate your input........


    Hi
    Welcome to the Forum,

    https://www.wigantoday.net/news/wigan-mum-launches-lifeline-group-1-8942256

    I have read three year olds being diagnosed with ASD -PDA .

    There is a wealth of information on this site as to diagnostic routes , techniques , support groups . You could suggest they try PDA Stratagies and see if there is any improvement in his behaviour .

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

    If you could persuade mum to have a word with her GP , hopefully taking you along too.

    I am not sure if Help4Psychology would offer a pre assesment on a two year old but it’s worth asking . It costs around £95 and gives you a very basic report . That way she would know if the issues need assessing further . There are forms to fill in and the assesment can be done over Skype .

    https://www.help4psychology.co.uk/

    Pat xx



  • Zebedee
    Posts: 4
    Thank-you so much for your reply. We live very Close to the Elisabeth Newsome Centre. I am thinking of contacting them next week when they return from the Easter holidays. My main problem is broaching the subject with my daughter who rejects the idea of any form of autism vehemently. I do not want to cause her any more pain than is necessary. I feel that I need a quick chat with an expert just to check that I am not barking up the wrong tree. This is all very difficult. This little one is not my child and if the parents wish to remain in denial I feel that is their right. I just find the suffering so hard to deal with.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 848
    Welcome to the forum. Two is fairly young to have PDA recognised but not unheard of.

    Perhaps finding out as much as you can personally and then seeing if you could have a conversation with someone at the ENC or at Help for Psychology might help formulate a clearer picture for you and give a stronger basis and additional resources to share with your daughter.

    I run a support group for families and there are a number of teachers within this that now admit it was very hard to accept their own child had difficulties even when they worked with SEN children every day! They felt like they’d failed, which obviously they hadn’t, but it just took a little time to personally acknowledge their own child had ASD.

    The webinars and resources section on this site are really helpful, please do take a look. The enquiry line may also be able to answer questions for you if you wanted to get in touch and leave a message for someone to call you back.
  • Zebedee
    Posts: 4
    Once again thank-you for taking the time to reply. I am like a sponge at the moment soaking up all the information I can.
    Here are some of the difficulties we struggle with:

    Baby has found it almost impossible to transition to a sleep state since birth. This has resulted in protracted bedtime struggles lasting up to 4 hours, every single night! Up to the age of two waking six times a night was the norm. Waking up leads to hysterical crying and baby has never been able to self soothe. He has never used his beautiful cot because it caused him great anxiety. So protracted was the problem we just had to give up. Any attempts at the ‘cry it out’ technique resulted in utter carnage both for him and us. He was breast fed exclusively until about 18 months but started to insist on latching onto the breast all night so my daughter had no option but to stop it.

    Baby is like an unstoppable machine during his waking hours and he demands total obedience and 100% attention from any carer. He goes to nursery for two short days per week and we found the professionals in shock at his demands. At one stage they said that they had provided one to one care but it was not enough and they said that it might be better for him to leave. Trying to get him to take a nap is extremely traumatic and in desperation we regularly have to resort to a long drive.
    Getting him to eat quickly became as traumatic as everything else. He likes to be in complete control and will use food to that end, if you let him. He would go for days without eating anything substantial but he always has room for Baby Belle cheese or chocolate. He once asked for more chocolate when we were in the car over 100 times.
    He is obsessed with the colour purple and likes to hold onto purple objects. When eating he always holds onto a piece of food whilst putting the other in his mouth.......sort of like an insurance policy.
    He will refuse to do most things that we ask him to do especially getting dressed and protracted negotiation over every mundane aspect of life can become very wearing. He seems happy to do things that you tell him not to! He will repeatedly remove his socks and shoes even when the temperatures are below freezing.
    His speech and motor development are excellent. He knows the phonetic alphabet and can count to ten. He can do an Australian accent.
    He destroyed an expensive car seat by shredding and chewing it. He has destroyed several jumpers by chewing them to shreds. He is very impulsive which makes him a nightmare near stairs or dangerous situations. He will just lunge off the sofa into oblivion.
    He has never sat for more than 3 minutes in a high chair and will escape from every type of harness. He would regularly escape from his car safety seat and emerge around the gear stick whilst on a motorway.
    He seems highly embarrassed and uncomfortable about having a poo and sometimes refuses to go.
    He regularly pulls huge chunks of his hair out and if you are not vigilant he will do the same to his carer.
    He can go from hysterical laughter to viciously trying to break your nose with a heavy toy, in a split second.
    Yesterday at the Play Barn he pushed a child in the face, knocked a hot chocolate over a stranger and smashed a plate and a cup before having a powerful meltdown, kicking around on the floor...........and he is only 2.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 848
    The behaviours you describe sound more extreme than those of a typically developing toddler and I think you’re right to try to encourage your daughter to seek an assessment for your grandson.

    If he likes to do the opposite have you considered trying reverse psychology... eg I’ve put your clothes here but if you would like to stay in your PJs that’s ok or, I’ve got your clothes to wear today but actually you can stay in your PJ’s (you must be prepared to accept PJ’s though if it doesn’t work!)

    There are special car seat harnesses you can buy to keep children safe http://www.crelling.com/ and also good sensory toy products designed for chewing like Chewelry.

    Toileting issues are also very common, particularly withholding!

    It’s a case of picking your battles where PDA is concerned... eg. if holding something purple encourages an activity I’d go for it, the same for needing to hold additional food while eating. These small things will hopefully help reduce anxiety and offers more control which leads to a greater chance of success.

    The responses yesterday could be due to sensory overload and not knowing how to control his feelings particularly if the play barn was busy and loud. My daughter often goes into a panic attack / meltdown and then has no recollection of what she has done.

    There are lots of people here who have similarly complicated children so do keep in touch. Please feel free to send me a message using the tab at the top if you’d like to talk off-line.

    Take care and here’s a big virtual hug. Xxx

  • Zebedee
    Posts: 4
    Hi, sorry for the late reply but we have had a family emergency and my time has been caught up with hospital visits etc. Thank-you for the advice.
    We are forced to micro manage baby everyday. If we didn’t, the consequences would be unbearable but this makes his care very punishing and exhaustion comes knocking. After a bad day I feel as though I have done 10 rounds with a heavy weight boxer. We spend every waking hour inventing strategies to mould him because he will invariably resist doing what is safe and necessary. We have to carefully pick our battles and are mindful of keeping him calm and minimising his anxiety. However, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and that is when trouble starts. I find success with calm but firm pre explanation of everything we need to do but this can transform a simple task, like getting him dressed,
    into a very long and protracted battle. When you need to move things along for something immovable like a hospital appointment he can become very violent toward his carer and you have to protect your eyes and hair. I think these children get mistaken for fussy babies or spirited children thus masking the problem in many cases.
    Sorry not sure how to private message you......

    What tab....where?

  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 848
    I’m sorry to hear about the family emergency. I hope everything is progressing well.

    I’ll send you a message... if you look at the header bar at the top of the forum it has tabs: discussions, categories, messages... the messages tab should have a number by the side indicating you have a message. Just click the tab and it will take you through. Any problems just post again here.

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