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How and where Can I get a diagnosis of PDA for my son?
  • Hi there, new to this site. I would really appreciate some advice. My 5 year old son was diagnosed with ASD in November last year. Having stumbled across PDA on the NAS website, I couldn’t be more convinced that he has PDA. His behaviours at school tick pretty much every single box. We have no multie agent assessments in place as yet apart from OT who didn’t flag any concerns, just a diagnosis of ASD. He is running constantly out of his classroom at the mere request of him writing a word or a sentence. Or sometimes when asked to read. He also has sensory difficulties. He was almost excluded last Friday and I’m constantly receiving phone calls about his behaviour, mainly the running in the corridors and sometimes his anger or frustration gets the better of him. I’m at my wits end and would really like an assessment for PDA as I have read on here that it is important that a PDA profile is recognised in order that the correct interventions are used. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Sarah
  • You need to find out if your area recognises PDA and if not, request an out-of-area referral to the nearest clinic that does, via an individual funding request (https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/06/individl-fund-reqts-info-pats.pdf). You can request this via the GP. First find out if you can get his diagnosis refined because PDA needs different strategies. Here is the educational guidance:

    http://www.aettraininghubs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/5.2-strategies-for-teaching-pupils-with-PDA.pdf

    The correct diagnosis is very important so don't be fobbed off if they say he already has an ASD diagnosis because how he is supported and understood throughout his life will need to be via understanding PDA by all concerned.

    In the meantime I would apply for an EHCP and inform the school that his behaviour is not naughtiness it is disability related due to his ASD and they cannot sanction or exclude him on the basis of his SENs.

    https://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/exclusion-from-school

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2017/september/new-guide-illegal-exclusions

    https://contact.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns-research/were-also-campaigning-on/illegal-exclusions/
  • Thank you so much for this. The school recognise that he has extra needs and are doing all they can, based on a diagnosis of ASD, however as far as interventions are concerned, they are stabbing in the dark until the professionals come in to assess him. A special needs school is coming to assess his needs and to advise the school. Then they will come back and reassess and then will go down the route of EHCP. Can I do anything I’m the meantime?. I am paying for a private speech and language assessment which is this week. I’m hoping that she will consider the PDA diagnosis. He refuses most demands at school and is currently working to his own timetable. Wats when he wants, plays out when he wants, reads and writes when he wants. I may be wrong but I just can’t see how he doesn’t have PDA. I will definitely go to my GP and if I’ve been informed correctly, my neighbouring county of Hertfordshire will diagnose PDA but Bedfordshire won’t. I printed out the key features of PDA for the school to look at and I think they are starting to agree he may have it.
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586

    Sarah231281 said:

    Thank you so much for this. The school recognise that he has extra needs and are doing all they can, based on a diagnosis of ASD, however as far as interventions are concerned, they are stabbing in the dark until the professionals come in to assess him. A special needs school is coming to assess his needs and to advise the school. Then they will come back and reassess and then will go down the route of EHCP. Can I do anything I’m the meantime?. I am paying for a private speech and language assessment which is this week. I’m hoping that she will consider the PDA diagnosis. He refuses most demands at school and is currently working to his own timetable. Wats when he wants, plays out when he wants, reads and writes when he wants. I may be wrong but I just can’t see how he doesn’t have PDA. I will definitely go to my GP and if I’ve been informed correctly, my neighbouring county of Hertfordshire will diagnose PDA but Bedfordshire won’t. I printed out the key features of PDA for the school to look at and I think they are starting to agree he may have it.



    Hi

    Welcome to the Forum ,

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

    There is a mass of information on this link . How to get out of area referrals too.

    Suggest the school watches the Webinars especially the Education one by Ruth Fidler and Phil Christie . There is also a section specifically for teachers .

    Help4Psychology offers a pre assesment at £95 which will give you a good indication if he has PDA if you wanted a private assesment . It’s roughly between £1,600 and £2,000 .
    Others are more expensive with a longer waiting list .

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/awareness-matters-booklet

    Page 35/6

    Gives you a list of the four recommened centres by the PDA Society . There are many others throughout the Country but it’s best to check with the PDA Society first if they are not listed .

    Pat xx
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,138
    Hi Sarah, Welcome to the Forum. The ladies have already shared the links with regards to private diagnosis and out of area referral which is great.

    With regards to the OT assessment was this carried out in school, at an NHS centre or privately? I've found that many undertaken in school are not comprehensive enough as they're not looking at all aspects of OT they often only look at the key features ie. can they grip a pencil, throw, catch, walk without bumping into things, etc. They often don't look closesly at all the sensory aspects that may affect a child which are equally as important.

    SALT is also important, as you recognise, as any delay in processing information or working memory will undoubtly be affecting your son in the classroom too; it's so key to identify all his needs and get a full picture.

    With regards to school and interventions, as they appear to being supportive have you asked if they'd consider trying some PDA strategies to see if they may work? They can be used without much adjustment to lessons plans providing there is a creative mind working with the child!

    If you would like to chat more about this, plase feel free to PM me, by selecting the messages tab at the top and then address a message to RhanH.

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