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SEND ‘Tip of the Month’ October 2021

SEND ‘Tip of the Month’ October 2021

Roa Dillon
Roa Dillon
SEND ‘Tip of the Month’ October...

Dear all,

Please find below the SEND ‘Tip of the Month’ for October 2021.
As a school we have a number of students with a diagnosis of Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).
It is vital for staff to understand that PDA differs from typical autism. This is because strategies that work well for students with autism can make things worse for students with PDA!
AVOIDANCE is the most debilitating characteristic of PDA and students will suffer with high levels of anxiety and they will often respond at first with a firm ‘NO’. Students with PDA do not understand where they fit socially, and do not understand a hierarchy for example; that adults have more authority than children.
Here are some handy strategies and tips to help students with PDA:
 Here are some handy sentence starters: 
  • “I wonder if we can…”
  • “Let’s see if we can make something…”
  • “I can’t see how to make this work…”
  • “Shall we see if we can beat the clock…”
  • “Maybe we could investigate…”
  • “Who do you want to help us today…”
  • Use indirect language “Really it’s just how somebody asks him to do something; if he sees it as ‘We need to go and do our reading now’ he will refuse to do it, but if it’s ‘Oh it’s our discovery time today, we’re going to do some reading, would you like to choose a book from these two?’ then he’s more compliant.”
Try to avoid saying: 
  • “It’s time for you to…”
  • “You’ve got to…”
  • “You need to…”
  • “You must…”
One of the simplest rules with PDA is to remember:
“Pick Your Battles”
What’s really important for the student, and for you? 
What should you hold firm, and what can you be flexible about?  
To find out more:
National Autistic Society ~

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