Parents, carers and disabled parents
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

My little sister

Freya15Freya15 Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi guys/girls, I am new to this forum so welcome to you all :). My first topic is about my little sister who is 7 and suffers from pda.

One of the issues we have with her is that she will not zip her jacket up when it's unpleasant weather outside. We don't want her to get ill from being out in the cold rain so we always zip it up when it's cold or raining but she just answers us back with moans or sulks the whole way to school. 


  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Freya15 - there is lots of brilliant information on the PDA society website here, do go take a look as it's a very clear and informative site.  They say:

    Balance tolerance and demands – Accept that some days a child’s anxiety is so high they will struggle to accept any demands, even ones others might not view as a ‘demand’, so reduce your expectations. On days where your child’s tolerance is higher, try increasing demands.

    Choose your battles – Have flexibility in your approach at home, think – is this worth my child having a meltdown?  But this is not the same as letting a child do what they like. Where a boundary is very important (for example to ensure the safety of themselves and others) it is important to reinforce the boundary.

    Choosing non negotiable boundaries – The quantity and nature of non-negotiable boundaries will vary depending on the extent to which a child is affected by PDA, combined with the priorities of any individual family. For some children, non-negotiable boundaries may need to be reduced to very few, and may include only the bare minimum relating to health and safety. However, these can gradually be increased to include more non-negotiable boundaries as a child’s anxiety levels become lower. This may also need to be variable to take into account fluctuating levels of anxiety that can occur in children, in different situations and at different stages of their life.

    Provide your child with clear reasons for non-negotiable boundaries – Your child may be more likely to adhere to a boundary if they have a clear understanding of why it is important. Don’t make it personal to them, try to explain the reason for the boundary in more general terms. It can also be helpful to blame this on a higher power e.g. “people aren’t allowed to steal because it is against the law of the land, if people ignore this law they can get into trouble with the police.”

    Enforcing non-negotiable boundaries – A non-negotiable boundary, for example, may be not to hit other children. A way to enforce this boundary can be as simple as removing the child from the situation or removing the other child from the situation. This enforces the boundary, but is unlikely to exacerbate the situation in the way that trying to enforce a boundary with rewards or threats of punishments or consequences may do.

    Imposed rewards and consequences – Traditional methods of behaviour modification do not tend to be successful for children with PDA, although there may always be exceptions to the rule. The use of these methods can increase the perceived expectation and demands of others and gives control to the person who is offering the reward or threatening the consequence. This can seem unfair and unjust if the child simply can’t rather than won’t. Some children may also view the use of rewards as ‘blackmail’.

    Natural rewards and consequences – The use of natural rewards e.g. “Because you have watched a film this morning I have got a lot of housework done, now I have more time to play with you.” and natural consequences e.g. “we can’t go to the park until you have put your shoes on” can be more successful. This way the child learns naturally that certain types of behaviour produce pleasant results and vice versa.

    Keep exposure to busy social occasions manageable – Try to keep social outings in small bite-size chunks that are manageable, provide as much one-to-one support as possible and think of quiet zones your child can go to if things become too much e.g. return to the car for a quiet period to relax and listen to music etc.  Try to have a flexible approach if possible i.e. for your child to know that they can return home at any time if they become unable to cope.

    Fear of Uncertainty – Plan ahead so that your child knows what to expect. Provide them with visual information of where they are going e.g. a leaflet or a youtube video of the venue, and make a timetable of the days events. Do this together so that you are working as a team. Be prepared to change and be flexible with any arrangements that you have made to accommodate your child’s fluctuating anxiety levels. If they can’t do something, offer reassurance and certainty e.g. “don’t worry if you can’t cope with going to the cinema today, we can try again tomorrow.”
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    How are you getting on @Freya15 ?
    Senior online community officer
  • Freya15Freya15 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I am doing ok :-), we have had nearly a whole week of sunny weather so we have been outside lots having fun, my sister loves being in my company and I enjoy her company, we are really close. 
Sign in or join us to comment.