Wednesday, 4 February 2015

This is our PDA story (week 3)

Welcome to week 3 of 'This is our PDA story', where I hand my blog over to another person living with PDA in their life.

There's an old saying 'a problem shared is a problem halved' and I'd like to think I'm teaching my girls this. I think by sharing how living with PDA really is, we can try and help more people to understand that it's not just bad parenting, and that 'making' our children do something is just not possible in the same way that it is with typically developing children.

There is plenty of information about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) on The PDA Society website at which could help parents, teachers and other practitioners understand this condition. More importantly the website offers different strategies to use to help children and adults who have PDA.

Here are the words of another mum who has been brave enough to share her story:

Self-doubt….that’s something that has come up a lot for me over the years.  This is when the days are ok and my son seems fine.  I have spent years going backwards and forwards with myself thinking something is ‘wrong’ with my son and then things are ok again and so I go back to thinking he’s fine - he’s just stubborn, strong-willed, gifted, sensitive……I just need to know how to deal with him better, let me go to another parenting class, or read another parenting book…

But the violent outbursts and meltdowns of last year woke me up.  This is not a boy who is just a bit stubborn and temperamental, but nor is this a naughty, horrible ‘evil’ child as some would call him.  He is inherently good and kind and sensitive - but my goodness how difficult that can be to see sometimes underneath the rude, controlling, aggressive and blatantly violent behaviour.  Walking on eggshells doesn’t come close - it is more like walking in a minefield, not knowing whether your next step is going to cause an explosion of epic proportions!  Fear, anxiety, depression, wishing to be dead - these are what he feels, but I end up feeling like it too.

Take away school and all demands and he is a different child.   I can question myself again, self-doubt - maybe it was just hormones, a phase; but that anger is brimming not far from the surface, brought up by asking something the wrong way, or speaking for too long.  PDA is the only thing that ‘fits’, finding this has helped me to understand my son more and be able to see that anxiety and the need to be in control is what drives his behaviours, I can use strategies that work and remind myself not to take it personally when my son is rude, or swearing at me.  Life is still like walking though a minefield - it’s just that I’ve got more idea of how to navigate through the mines now.

Please do like or comment to show you care; the support means so much and can carry someone through a difficult day.

For previous weeks and a different outlook, please read Week 1 and Week 2.

Linking up with the lovely Jenny over at Let's Talk Mommy for Share With Me:


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