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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

This is our PDA story (week 13): Born Naughty?

Welcome to week 13 of 'This is our PDA story'. 
So here is a different kind of entry to the series this week. I'm hoping I'm not too late to tell you all about the television programme which is due to be aired on Channel 4 tonight.

It's called 'Born Naughty?', it's on Thursday evening at 8pm and you can check it out on their website  www.channel4.com/programmes/born-naughty.

Of course the title brings with it much controversy. The programmes in this series being aired by Channel 4 are intended to show the viewers families who are living with children with challenging behaviour, and to see if the behaviour is caused by their environment, living conditions and parenting, or whether the children really can't help it. 

The first programme from what I understand, tells the story of nine year old Honey who has waved knives at her parents and threatened her classmates. Sadly I have heard many stories of children like this, shocking as it may sound. Many of these children should probably be diagnosed with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), but sadly so few health professionals have heard of this condition which is a particular type of autism. 

It's very important to me to spread awareness and make sure families like this receive the right support. In most cases, that is not a question of imposing stricter routines and punishment, as you may believe if you have only ever had to parent in a traditional manner.

Sophie was born autistic. She was born with PDA. It is not the way that I parent which makes her like that. I can parent our older girl in the traditional manner and it works fine for her, but not for Sophie. 

I'm not saying I'm the perfect parent, or that I always get it right, and I'm sure there are times that I do 'give in' to Sophie too easily. There are also times when Sophie is naughty. She's not perfect either! I tried to do the traditional parenting with her, just as I had with our eldest. It didn't work, and it wasn't because I didn't try those methods for long enough. Believe me, my life would be much easier if I could follow those methods; I wouldn't choose to make life this difficult.

Of course I understand why other people don't 'get it' - they don't have to live with it. I'd hope that they could be more open-minded and realise that they don't have all the answers though, and that not every child needs a 'good smack'. I'm quite glad I won't be able to tune in to Twitter at home tonight, as I know how many judgemental comments there will be from those who don't understand and who aren't prepared to listen. Shame on them.

I would dearly love to see comments here on my blog from anyone who watches the show and who has questions or thoughts either way. It's a lot to take in - believe me, I know! 




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PDA is one type of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD (now also called Autism Spectrum Condition, ASC). It may seem to be a 'relatively' new diagnosis, but it was actually first realised in the 1980s, over 30 years ago. There's more information about the history of PDA on the PDA Society's website.  

For lots more informationn, support and good strategies to follow for children with PDA, please do check out the main website:
www.pdasociety.org.uk

Linking up with Let's Talk Mommy:

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