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.



Not quite a Valentine poem!


The Incident

Ring ring goes the phone

Number I note and voice so distinct

Mrs. Young, oh good you are home

Heavy heart, deep sigh

Chin drops to the chest

Not again, with exasperated cry


The common line that I dread

There’s been an incident

That bloody line rings in my head

There’s one thing for sure

It will be written on my gravestone

When I am no more


I listen to the chaos unfold

The triggers always unknown

A sudden chill makes me go cold

Coping mechanisms none were in sight

He struggled, he swore

Frustration, fear, fight and flight


The incident told with detailed description

Honesty yet delicate in her delivery

Underlined with such great precision

I hold the phone ever tighter

Pursed lips, eyes closed

Will his life ever get brighter?


Her reassurance that, ‘This too shall pass’

Don’t worry, calm has now resumed

And he’s happy again, back in his class.

However a report she now needs to make

It’s the same process for all

It’s purely for Health and Safety sake.


Not as many incidents so far this year

They say, he’s doing quite well

But there will be more yet I fear.

Ring ring goes the phone

The number I note

But this time I hide, there’s no-body at home!

Why did my PDA son have to fail in five schools before I was listened to?


This post is with our huge thanks to:
Special Needs Jungle – http://www.specialneedsjungle.com
for their continued support in raising the profile of Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome.

Why did my PDA son have to fail in five schools before I was listened to?

Is it me or is the system a little bit …


The facts so far…

Annual Review meeting held on 27/03/2013, no word on my son having to move schools next year, why should it come up, after all he can remain another 2 years at his current one.

Letter received 2nd Oct. 2013 case officer from SEN County Council – Authority accepts the recommendations from school that the provision currently in place for your son is appropriate to meet his needs. As your son is due to leave his school next sept (Im thinking WHAT ARE THEY GOING ON ABOUT?) The authority will now consider whether his needs can be met in one of its own special schools at an admissions panel which will sit in November and you will have details on outcome by Dec 3rd.

Right at this point I need to breeeathe deeeeply, I contacted transitions at my sons current school, and apparently because children tend to transition to secondary school at age 11, this is the reason why the County Council are reviewing my sons current school and statement… (right so nothing to do with the cut backs and them wanting to save a bob or two).

Another letter received on 3rd Oct. 2013 from admissions panel to say that if we had expressed a preference for a particular school or provision back in the annual review in March this may be considered, obviously we hadn’t given any thought to it, as our sons needs are being met by his current school and he can remain there until he turns thirteen. NOBODY said anything at the time about transition to secondary!

So Im informed by someone in the know to seek out a school which I can bring to the table for consideration, as the authorities take it upon themselves to bring to the table 3 secondary schools to discuss for my son without parental input. So I contact a local SEN/ASD school to look around, its had some good reviews by parents and since being taken over three years ago, came highly recommended to me as a place which might be suitable. Anyway, I looked around and liked what I saw, so I telephoned my sons current school and spoke to them, they agreed that x school could be the right place for him from September 2014. So then I contacted my sons case officer at SEN County Council and requested this school be considered as well. Case officers reply… “Thats not one of the schools which is being considered, you will have your say once the panel have discussed and decided”. Now call me thick, but how is it that I can only, speak out and have an opinion once the so called decision has been made! So I said to the case officer, “Can you please tell me (trying to remain calm) which three schools is actually on the table for consideration?” So he does in fact tell me, I then told him that I will look closely into these three schools in order to see how compatible they are in order to meet my sons needs. He closed the conversation by saying, “Don’t worry you’re have your chance to make a case against the school which we choose”.

(…. and breathe… must remain calm)!

Of the three schools, two are completely inappropriate and when I spoke directly to the head of admission of each of the schools, they also remarked that they couldn’t understand the thinking behind putting their school up for consideration, they seemed surprised stating, ‘they are specific BSED and not really a school for children on the autistic spectrum’ and on top of that admitted they do not accept children who cannot access the curriculum. My son is on the autistic spectrum with learning disabilities, he’s soon to be eleven, but writes and draws like a five year old and has only just started to recognise letters of the alphabet and do simple sums. On a more positive note, the third school, seems like a possible option, so next week I am going to visit to see for myself, they told me that many of their boys are on the autistic spectrum alongside learning difficulties, the environment is nurturing and the education is moulded to fit around the needs of the child – Sounds very positive 🙂

I will then draw up a pros and cons list of the two schools which I feel are the most appropriate, and regardless of what the SEN county council decide, I have done my homework, and have in hand all the answers in order to have a case to present to them about what is best for my sons future education.

Word of warning – Don’t mess with the Lioness her cubs are paramount