Poem written for PDA Action Day 15th May 2018


PanDA, me & I

The flip side of me

Is a Panda you see

Its not double trouble

But sure is a struggle

Understand the whole me

Include Panda I plea

Coexistence we strive

To help us all thrive

But Rolling resistance

Best describes our existence

Don’t say to us ‘NO’

Or Panda will blow

Too much long chatter

Just sounds like a clatter

It helps to have choice

So allow us a voice

Communication break-down

Why must we drown?

In opinions so strong

We want to belong

A N X I E T Y free

Is the magical key

A formula to master

If not then sadly disaster!

Panda, me & I

Isn’t a pie in the sky

Excluded from schools

Panda struggles with rules

Being left-out is a sin

We want to join in

Restrain us they say

They’re unable to play

Frustration to take part

Having friends is an art

Anger is what’s seen

But that’s not what we mean

Our rules aren’t the same

Please try not to blame

Its unfair being this way

Wearing this mask everyday

Judgment, cross faces

Confusion & strange places

Take us from here

And remove all of this fear

Tippy toeing not necessary

Parental vocabulary

We need the control

Or becomes a sinkhole

What’s important for you

Might be a battle to choose

No it’s not so absurd

Panda needs to be heard

Help panda, help me

Then you will all see

In order to succeed

Understand don’t impede

Pre-empt & distraction

To soothe Pandas reaction

Information needs time

Slow processing isn’t a crime

Indirect instruction creates

Direct demand devastates

Panda may often be wrong

Avoidance obviously strong

Acceptance of us is a must

Over time it builds up our trust

Empower us to fully function

Minimise our fear of destruction

So keep all this in mind

And then you will find

A better day will unfold

Thank you, our story is now told.



#PDA Awareness Day- Sunday 15th May 2016


PDA Awareness Day is Sunday 15th May (thats this weekend:-)

As its National Limerick Day today I thought Id make up a little limerick for Sunday… If you like it, please feel free to share especially on PDA Sunday x

Autism they said is like Rainman
PDA they said is naughty kid syndrome
They have closed minds bound by fear
and would rather we all just disappear.

Judgemental faces they simply cannot relate
Instructing us to medicate & sedate
They really don’t want to understand
Nor will they ever try to lend a hand.

Don’t look down on us with expression so glum
We simply march to the beat of our own drum
My last point for your personal reflection
is wake up people, we are all on the spectrum!

DSM-5 what does it mean for the autism community – Talk about Autism




DSM-5: What does it mean for the autism community? – 28 May 2013,…

The trouble with grouping conditions under one umbrella …


Consideration relating to this article – http://fb.me/1wXWBuW5G 

Diagnostic labels are either accepted as a signpost; giving a fuller explanation of child or adult condition/behaviours/symptoms/additional physical or medical needs, sometimes necessary in order to be able to apply for a statement to gain additional support in mainstream schools, to access special schools or assistance in the community; OR labels seem to trigger negative feedback from those who lack understanding, misguided information, hostility, discrimination in the form of stereotyping, for instance: Aspergers = Rainman/high intelligence/no eye contact OR PDA/PDD-NOS = Naughty child syndrome, strong minded OR Classic = Unable to communicate, lack of emotions. 

I have worked in main stream schools, some who have worked hard to strive for inclusion of all types of children with additional educational needs. Sometimes with a successful outcome, but more times I witnessed inclusion not working positively for not only the child, but impacting on other children in the classroom, stressed teachers, and further distress on the family when the school placement breaks down. 

Trouble with grouping the large spectrum of autism under the one umbrella, is that a child with a diagnosis of ASD may be completely different from another child with ASD and will require different strategies in order to meet their differing needs.

My concerns are, and I give an example of a teacher (from either mainsteam or special needs school) with two children in her class, one is a girl and one is a boy, both have a diagnosis of ASD. The teacher recognises some stereotypical signs in the boy which she decides is probably Aspergers, but the girl behaves very differently from the boy, and struggles to engage in class, is disruptive and appears very defiant, the teacher decides that this girl probably isn’t ASD (after-all she gives eye contact) – UNLESS the teacher has full training of ALL of the categories and sub-categories of autism, she will quite naturally make up her own mind as to who is really autistic and who is simply being naughty, regardless of the child’s diagnosis or requirements of statement.

Many teachers in mainstream schools have too many pressures already placed upon them, with high numbers of children per class, attaining good grades for Ofsted inspections /reports/paperwork/governments on-going changing of exam systems etc. It’s no wonder that so many schools are getting it wrong for so many children with additional needs (I AM NOT SAYING ALL SCHOOLS!)

It saddens me to say, “Without FULL understanding of the autistic spectrum, grouping ASD under one umbrella will cause further confusion and exclusion”.


Today is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) Awareness Day


Today is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) Awareness Day.

PDA Awareness Day Wednesday 15th May 2013


 Thanks to Graeme Storey for creating this wonderful resource page ahead of PDA Awareness Day 15th May – http://www.thepdaresource.com