As many people may be aware, there has been a great deal of interest in, and controversy around, PDA. What it is, what it should be called, and whether it actually exists.
As it is now over thirty years since the original concept of PDA was introduced by Elizabeth Newson and her colleagues, and how the thinking around Autism has moved on significantly during this time, it is very...Learn More
Human babies are amongst the least developed, in terms of their ability to manage independently, of all mammals. They are born with only the primitive parts of their brain fully functioning, with the majority of brain development taking place throughout childhood (hence the soft spot or fontanelle at the top of a baby’s head which allows its brain to grow significantly during the first year...Learn More
Like most people I have been following the recent news stories about young people with autism and the PDA profile carefully. The first case to be highlighted was that of Bethany, a seventeen year old girl with autism and the PDA profile. From what I can gather, Bethany’s family had tried (unsuccessfully) for years to access the most appropriate support for her. By reaching out and...Learn More
An article published on 30th August 2018 by the National Autistic Society, titled ‘What teachers need to know about Autism’, was a very timely reminder that 70% of children who are on the Autism Spectrum will be attending mainstream schools. Hopefully those with, what I would call, more obvious features of Autism, will be going into (or back to) school with a support plan, or at least...Learn More
In the course of my clinical work, I meet with many parents who are seeking an explanation for their child’s difficulties. I am also privileged to have been allowed to join a number of closed Facebook groups where parents share their experiences of bringing up children with Autism and PDA. Without exception, these parents have been strong, resilient and determined to achieve the best possible...Learn More
It is the beginning of September again and parents all over the country are preparing for the start of the new school year. For some parents though, this is a time of increased stress, or even weary resignation, that once again they will have to face the daily battle of encouraging their child into school. For others, getting their child into school is a distant memory. These are the...Learn More
This article is about Autism and anxiety. Research suggests that up to 85% of autistic individuals will suffer from anxiety. An autistic child is twice as likely as a neurotypical (non-autistic) child to experience anxiety. A significant number will suffer from extreme anxiety – to the point that it affects not just their life but their family’s too. Some children are too anxious to attend...Learn More
This article is equally applicable to both boys and girls. In the course of many years of clinical experience I have learned that boys can be just as good as girls at ‘masking’ their difficulties (particularly those who have the Pathological Demand Avoidance profile).
Way back in the early 2000’s I remember when the National Autism Plan for Children (NAPC) guidelines were developed...Learn More
The second part of this article is aimed at both parents of children on the Autistic Spectrum, and those working with them in a school environment, and examines the impact of the various stresses of the school day for these young people, but also for those who have the job of supporting them, particularly teachers and teaching assistants.
First from the point of view of the young people....Learn More
The previous two articles have touched upon the challenges faced by parents when their children ‘mask’ or hide their difficulties in the classroom. In the course of assessments and therapy with families, many parents have reported feeling blamed and judged when it appears that whatever they seem to try with their children does not work, whereas at school they perhaps behave like the model...Learn More