Wednesday 13 May 2015

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

Welcome to week 13 of 'This is our PDA story'. 

This week's post is a different kind of entry to the series. I've written it to tell you all about the television programme aired on Channel 4 called 'Born Naughty?' (I later wrote an updated review of the programme here: Are any children born naughty?)
Of course the title brought with it much controversy. The programmes in this series being aired by Channel 4 were intended to show the viewers families who are living with children with challenging behaviour. The aim was 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 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 few health professionals have heard of this condition and so few children receive the diagnosis. 

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.

Sasha 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 our youngest. 

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 Sasha too easily. There are also times when Sasha 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 watched the show and who has questions or thoughts either way. It's a lot to take in - believe me, I know! 


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 information, support and good strategies to follow for children with PDA, please do check out the main website:

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking or more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, why not try some of these, my most popular posts?

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

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