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Demand avoidant but very demanding
  • aliveit
    Posts: 69
    Hi everyone,
    Still digesting my sons (8) pda diagnosis and trying to find out as much as i can about the condition.
    My son definitely avoids demands but some of the strategies r helping. What i'm really finding exhausting is his constant demands and need for immediate gratification. He has no patience whatsoever, expects me to do all this stuff for him, and can even sometimes ask very nicely, but if i am not available for his every whim, get insulted or threatened or possible meltdowns. I then find myself resenting him and not wanting to help him, even though i know he's just trying to control things, which is a horrible feeling to have.
    Do you all have experience of these constant demands... should i do the things to keep the peace , to calm and reassure him???
    But honestly i just feel i'm getting walked all over!!
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    Hi alieveit, we experience similar things. Sometimes I go along with it and sometimes I push for my daughter to do whatever she has asked, but it does depend on her anxiety level! Sometimes doing the requests serves to reduce the anxiety, other times I feel she's just trying it on and actually she's perfectly capable of getting her own drink and tidying her plates away, so I ask her to do it! I do also sometimes agree to do something but I adjust the timing so it's not done 'now' but in a few minutes when I've finished the task I was doing. By making small changes I've personally found that I don't feel I'm being walked over quite so much as I have some of the control, and she now understands that I won't do everything and knows that I won't push her too much on days when anxiety is just too high to manage the simple things. It's making sure our dials are adjusted and in-tune daily!
  • aliveit
    Posts: 69
    Thank you for the post.
    I am trying to do something along the same lines, and i definitely think he's trying it on sometimes! I need more practise at sentence phrasing i think so that no doesn't come into the response....
    Have you found your daughters patience has improved over time or does it vary depending on anxiety levels?
    Alison x
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    aliveit said:

    Thank you for the post.
    I am trying to do something along the same lines, and i definitely think he's trying it on sometimes! I need more practise at sentence phrasing i think so that no doesn't come into the response....
    Have you found your daughters patience has improved over time or does it vary depending on anxiety levels?
    Alison x



    Hi,
    Personally l have found if the demands increase so does the anxiety . The level of controlling increases too . Yes my boys have improved but they are 20 and 21 . They learn their own coping Stratagies .

    I get it totally wrong at times . These children can test the patience of a Saint . Agree with RhanH . Don’t give in to every “do it now” otherwise they will totally control you . This will have the oppositive effect of what you are trying to achieve and heighten the anxiety even more .

    Couple of suggestions from the training course I have just been on . If a child tells you to “bleep” off , do exactly that . That child is asking for timeout , space .

    Another suggestion , this was highlighted by an Adult PDAer recently , before something like a holiday , chill out totally the previous days and once you return . It’s a type of recovery recharge your batteries .
    What was also suggested and this can be very difficult if you have other children , let the child do as little as possible at weekends . They have Demand after Demand at school , they need to recover at weekends before the next week at school . Choose carefully what and where you go .

    Just think after school too before you take them to every club possible . Choose carefully what and where you go .

    Recovery time is essential . Flexi schooling is another alternative . What works for one child won’t work for the next .

    Pat xx





  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    Hi Aliveit, now that's a good question... I was going to reply it's based on her anxiety levels but thinking about it more, I actually think it's both. The overriding factor is anxiety but as she learns more coping strategies herself, she has managed waiting better and for longer. She can sometimes distract herself until I'm ready or accept an alternative idea to do while she waits too!

    With regard to sentance phrasing I've always found the behavioural strategy guide by Autism West Midlands quite helpful: https://autismwestmidlands.org.uk/asset/2017/11/PDA-1.pdf

    I agree with Pat about holidays, we try to do very little before we go, then once we're away we ensure we have some 'chill-out' days in between the hopefully fun stuff, then again when we're home we have a couple of calm quiet days! Recovery or processing time for us is essential.

  • aliveit
    Posts: 69
    Thank you rhan h. I had read it but need to read and re read.
    Thanks pat for the advice... however, when my son tells me to bleep off in a meltdown ,its so he can get me out the way to finish attacking his brother or various bits of furniture!
    Will bear the calm times in mind and had already limited activities to just football. But every weekend of late has been full on tournaments saturday and sunday. If i dont let him go he will see it as a punishment even though he knows he's exhausted... any ideas on how to get around that?
    Alison x

  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586
    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources

    There is some good information here on meltdowns .

    You could try when he is in a calm mode to gently explain that if he would consider reducing the tournaments to one rather than two , he chooses which day , then that would help him not being so upset and calmer . It’s just like having a battery recharge for the next week . At weekends it’s like running on a flat battery and it’s making things worse for during the week trying to do everything .

    Would he listen to some of the Harry Thompson YouTube blogs . They are great and he could watch them at his lesuire .

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