Monday 29 June 2020

Positive PDA Virtual Summit 2020

The first ever Positive PDA Virtual Summit will be taking place this year from 3rd to 6th July. Over twenty keynote speakers will be sharing their experiences of the type of autism known as Pathological Demand Avoidance. It's a free online event open to anyone; register now at to receive reminders.
A variety of parents of children with PDA, adult PDAers and professionals and educators who have worked with children with PDA have all offered their time to record videos and presentations to help further understanding of this less well-known profile of autism. Here's a sneak preview of what mine will look like (but with the warning that I am by no means experienced on camera!)
The main person behind the setting up of this opportunity to learn is an amazing mum called Nicola. I asked her to share her reasons for creating and hosting this online summit and she said the following:

"Back in March 2020 I had to postpone the first Cardiff PDA conference due to Covid-19; like many people events have had to be cancelled or postponed. However current circumstances gave a different opportunity as more and more people started to access online classes and Zoom sessions.
Co-creator Louise Jenkins and I decided we could create something much bigger and more powerful.

Online, the summit idea was born and has since grown immensely. We have over 3500 people signed up and people in 44 countries are going to be listening to the presentations.

What’s my 'why behind all of this'?
I have two boys and when one of them was very young we frequently had different challenges.

Initially, when he was very young, we noticed how hard it was to get out of the door to go to playgroup and nursery. The tantrums (meltdowns) got bigger and bigger, and more and more challenging. One example I remember was about some food: a fish finger was broken and he could not eat it.

When we started to seek help from professionals we were told time and time again he's not autistic. He's got eye contact, he's too sociable, he’s just very anxious. However as time went on we were having more and more challenges.

It was during a chance conversation with a really good friend when I explained about a situation which we had had, with the biggest and what felt like the worst tantrum, and she mentioned three letters: PDA.

It took another 10 days before I had the time and energy to look it up. Then I had a lightbulb moment; I felt like descriptions had been written personally about him. During the past four years our home life has changed from one where we felt that we were constantly firefighting to understanding what is happening and how we could help our son. The challenges he faces are still there, but we know now how we can support him best.

The free PDA summit is a fantastic opportunity to listen to over 16 webinars about PDA. Plus much more; selective mutism, supporting young people with grief, and building resilience for them and us as parents and professionals. It's a great opportunity for everyone to be able to join in to listen and learn all about Pathological Demand Avoidance."

Visit now to see the full line up of speakers and subjects which will be covered. I'll be talking about our life and experiences from diagnosis to now!

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

Books about the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) profile of autism

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?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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