Pathological Demand Avoidance: World Autism Awareness Day

As it is World Autism Awareness Day, I would like to share some information on a lesser known type of autism, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

“Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is increasingly, but not universally, accepted as a behaviour profile that is seen in some individuals on the autism spectrum.

People with a PDA behaviour profile share difficulties with others on the autism spectrum in social communication, social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests. 

However, those who present with this particular diagnostic profile are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent. This demand avoidant behaviour is rooted in an anxiety-based need to be in control.”

The National Autistic Society 2017 

Children with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) do not often respond to typical parenting techniques or even the usual strategies for autism. These approaches either do not work or make the situation worse. Effective approaches to best support PDA children are quite different and therefore it is important for people to understand this.

Natasha, who writes over at unschoolingaspies.blogspot.co.uk, says that being flexible is key. “The more inflexible the child, the more flexible (and creative!) the adult needs to be.” So true!

Amelia has one word of advice for other PDA parents: “patience“. I couldn’t agree more! Lots of it. 

Further information on useful strategies can be found on The PDA Society website.

In terms of educational approaches, again The PDA Society website has an excellent educational strategies booklet from Positive PDA available for download here. The Autism Education Trust have also created this PDF document ‘Strategies for Teaching Pupils With PDA’ sponsored by Department for Education.

Kayleigh, A parent of a PDA child, also advises that PDA families “find people who are understanding”. I wholeheartedly agree. I feel that awareness, acceptance and understanding are essential. 

On that note, I was thrilled when I found out that Fiona is running the Milton Keynes Marathon to raise awareness – and funds – for PDA. She has already reached her £1000 target for The PDA Society, which is amazing! Of course, further donations are warmly welcomed!!! If you would like to sponsor Fiona, go to her Just Giving Fundraising Page.

Pathological Demand Avoidance, PDA, autism, World Autism Awareness Day, The PDA Society, SEND, ASD, ASC, charity, fundraising, events, marathon
Fiona in training for MK marathon

Further Reading:

Books

Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals by Phil Christie et al

Can I tell you about Pathological Demand Avoidance? by Ruth Fidler and Phil Christie

Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome: My Daughter is NOT Naughty by Jane Sherwin

Websites

www.pdasociety.org.uk

www.thepdaresource.com

Blogs

memyselfandpda.com

www.stephstwogirls.co.uk

dinkyandme.wordpress.com

Sally Cat’s PDA Page

*Please note the Amazon books are affiliate links. This means I get a small referral fee on purchases. It does not cost any extra to the buyer. Thank you for supporting me in this way.

The Great Daffodil Appeal – Marie Curie 

It’s that time of year when people all over the country are getting involved in The Great Daffodil Appeal for Marie Curie. Marie Curie is a wonderful charity that supports people with terminal illness, and their families. The funds raised from the appeal help to pay for nurses to provide care to families during this most difficult time.

The Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie, fundraising, charity

If you want to take part but haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! Here are some of my favourite fundraising ideas to get you started. And if these don’t inspire you, make up your own instead!

Get creative:

  • Make and sell handmade cards, crochet daffodils or origami daffodils.
  • Hold a creative workshop and charge an entry fee to raise money.

Get baking:

  • Make some delicious cakes to sell.
  • Have a bake-off challenge.

Find some yummy celebrity recipes here.

Get active:

  • Hold a charity sports match.
  • Have a sports day (charge for people part in the races).
  • Do a sponsored run or swim.
  • Set yourself a walking, cycling, running or swimming goal to achieve by x date.


The Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie, fundraising, charity

Find out more information and sign up for fundraising here: 

The Great Daffodil Appeal Fundraising Page.

The Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie, fundraising, charity

#2poundchallenge – The £2 Food Challenge with Zamcog and Voucherbox 

Can I feed myself for £2 for one day?

That was the challenge set by Voucherbox. The purpose of this challenge is to raise money for the charity Zamcog, whose goal is to support Zambia’s most at-risk children through food and education. It costs £2 to feed and educate a child in Zambia every day, and for each #2poundchallenge post published, Voucherbox will donate £50 to Zamcog. That supports a vulnerable child for nearly a month! The challenge also aims to encourage people to think about their own food spending and waste too. 

How could I possibly say no? Of course I jumped straight onboard! So here is how I fed myself for £2 for one day (shopping from Sainsburys)…

Morning Smoothie (Breakfast)

Frozen Summer Fruits (500g £2.00) 50g 20p 

Fairtrade banana 16p each

Apple (family pack of 11 £1.75) 16p each

Small handful mixed seeds 6p 

Kale (500g £2) 10g 4p

(Almond milk £1 per litre) 100 ml 10p

= 72p

Lunch (Jacket with Beans)

Basics baked beans in tomato sauce (25p) 1/2 can 13p

Small baked potato 22p

= 35p

Dinner (Vegetable Cous Cous) 

Vegetable stock cubes (10 x 10g 65p) 7p

Cous cous (1kg £1.20) 200g 24p

Chargrilled mediterranean vegetables – aubergine, courgette, red & yellow peppers (500g £1.60) 100g 32p

Carrots (1kg 50p) 2 carrots finely sliced/ grated) 8p

Brocolli (335g 45p) 1/3 15p

Beansprouts (400g 65p) 40g 7p

= 93p

Total = £2

#2poundchallenge, two pound challenge, food challenge, Voucherbox, Zamcog, charity, fundraising, blogger, Living Life Our Way, campaigns, causes

I found it easier than I thought to do this for myself for one day, but it would have been a harder challenge to do it as a family, and I think I would also struggle to do it for long to be honest! However, I was able to still have my breakfast smoothie, albeit abit smaller than usual, that is packed with nutrition and sets me up for the day. I was also able to stick to my usual diet of mainly vegan and raw food, but did have to opt for frozen choices rather than all fresh in order to maintain eating a variety of fruit and vegetables within the small budget set.

It did make me think about how I could reduce my shopping budget though, which I will try to take onboard. I do often freeze fresh fruit and veg just before it goes off already, so this helps to minimise waste and cut down on costs. Also, if I had been doing this challenge at another time of year, I could have used alot of home-grown food. But I enjoyed taking on this challenge and I am thrilled to be able to use my blog to raise money for such a great cause too! 

Are you a blogger who would like to raise £50 for Zamcog? If so, why not take part in the #2poundchallenge too!

#Blogtober 2016 – Day 3: If You Won The Lottery, You Would?

Interesting question, as I have genuinely not really thought about it! Of course it crosses my mind sometimes (often!) “ooh if I had the money I would go here, or do that” type of thing but never really thought about it more deeply than that. So after some thinking here is what I came up with…

If it was a small win, it would go towards paying our bills!

Medium win- As above but also I would take Squiggle on a short holiday somewhere.

Big win- hmmm, now it gets harder. I guess it would depend how much exactly because various things spring to mind and I’m not sure what would be the priority. On the one hand, it would be nice to own our home, and we would love some land to grow more food etc… But on the otherhand, I would also love to travel properly at our own pace, and in particular having an eco friendly camper van would be amazing! But then again, if I owned our home then I could rent it out on air bnb while we travelled so that would be useful. Tough one!

Jackpot- all of the above, with lots of (eco!) travelling to different countries and spending plenty of time really immersing ourselves in each place. 

Last but not least, as cliché as it may sound, I would definitely also make donations to various charities, and/ or set up my own.

Now, where’s my lottery ticket gone…. 

#Blogtober16