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Sorry, a request for advice
  • Hi, I know you get a lot of people asking for help, so I'm sorry that that's what I'm doing as my first post.

    I have a nearly 5 year old who i think has PDA. At christmas time we decided that enough was enough and we had to accept that the issues that she had were ones we needed support with and so we have met with the school nurse once and are due to meet again in a week, but they didn't offer much last time and I'm not convinced they are going to be a useful route for us so my finger is poised on the phone to get a GP appointment to ask to be referred for an assessment, though PDA itself is not diagnosed here. The issues that we have are not replicated at school, but I am concerned that they will be when she starts yr 1 in September as the routine is more structured rather than the free-flow style of reception where she has choice over what she does.

    We are struggling. We have peaks and troughs of difficult behavior and are in the second week of escalating issues where she is kicking and punching myself and my husband, spitting and throwing things at us when worked up. I walked in on her having cornered her older sister and she was about to hit her with a plastic step. I'm now constantly worried about what I'm going to have to face when I pick my children (i have 3) up from school and what 'I'm going to have to de-escalate and in this heat I just don't have the energy for it and I feel like I'm at my wits end. I 'm not sure why I'm posting really as I know we just have to get on with it and figure it out, I just need to know others know how i feel as its so difficult to talk about with other parents as I feel like i'm making my daughter sound like an awful child when I know she isn't, she just has some inner turmoil we haven't learnt to help her with yet. We aren't sure what has escalated her behavior from being a pain, but managable, to where we are now. It took an hour and half to get her to settle in bed last night as well as various other minor meltdowns from getting in and so that means she is very tired today so is more likely to exhibit behavior that we struggle with this evening. I've read lots around PDA now and we are trying different tactics, but if something works once it doesn't again as she sees through it. We had a new issue where she was petrified of being in the bath and it was horrid to see such pure fear in her, it took so long to talk her down and i just felt empty afterwards. It's now affecting all of us as we have to make sure the other children are out of the way when we are dealing with her incase they either accidentally escalate it by trying to help, or she lashes out at them. I fear we are coming apart at the seams and just hope a lull in behaviour comes soon.

  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,168
    Hi Faye, Welcome to the Forum. There is no need to apologise at all, we're all here looking for help and advice.

    Personally I would say why wait, there can often be long waitlists to see a paediatrician so I would start the ball rolling by seeing your GP. We have some diagnotistic pathway information here that may help you:

    Many of our children with PDA do things to try to 'shock' us to regain the control that they are desparately seeking like spitting (our daughter used to try to wee on us). It's best to try to view the loss of control as a panic attack and when they are calm and back in control try to work out what the trigger was that started the behaviour. Could it be an overload after the school day? Does she keep everything together in school (masking) and then releases her behaviour with those she trusts and where she finds safe?

    Bear in mind this heat will also be affecting many of our children, particularly if they have any sensory issues. Bathtime has also been a big issue in our house, she went from enjoying a bath to completely refusing to have one or wash, with very violent incidents everytime we tried. It turned out she felt the water was hurting her, a friend suggested epsom salts which make the water feel softer and it worked! However now she won't get in the bath and must have a shower, alhtough this is only allowed once a week, but at least she sees some water!

    There are many of us here who have experienced similar difficulties to you so please know that we are all behind you and will do our best to support you. Is there perhaps a local support group you could contact too? Try to take a few minutes out just for you too, I know it will be hard but when we feel more centred and calm it can help to influence the behaviour of our beautiful but complicated children.

    Our Webinars are good for further ideas if you have time to take a look:

    You may also find the case studies helpful, as these are real families sharing their stories and may offer some different ideas for dealing with situations.

    I hope this helps a little. Please do keep asking questions so we can continue to try to help and offer support. If you'd like to have a chat off-line you can also send me a Private Message by using the 'Messages' tab at the top of the page. Click start a new conversation, add my name RhanH and then type your message.

    Thinking of you. xxx

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