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Me and My PDA

Me and My PDA

Glòria Durà-Vilà | Tamar Levi | Tamar Levi


Additional Information


This beautifully illustrated guide helps young people with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) to understand their diagnosis, develop self-awareness and implement their own personalised problem-solving strategies. Written in consultation with young people with PDA and their families, this book recognises the importance of handing control back to the young person, and that there is no one-size-fits-all PDA profile. Readers are encouraged to engage throughout with interactive writing, doodling and checklist exercises to explore their own particular characteristics, strengths and challenges.

Me and My PDA is sensitively tailored to the needs and experiences of young people (aged 10+) with PDA. The guide is designed to grow with the reader, and can be used for many years as the young person develops and changes - making it invaluable to PDA-diagnosed individuals and their families.

It is a sensitive book based on an excellent understanding of PDA, which is probably the hardest form of Autism, and so exhausting for the children, young people and families that it affects. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Sarah Wild, Headteacher of Limpsfield Grange

Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist with a special clinical interest in PDA. She is passionate about the importance of communicating ASD and PDA diagnoses to children and parents in the best possible way.

Tamar Levi is an award-winning artist and illustrator of numerous children's books including My Autism Book, The Philosophy Shop and The If Odyssey. She has studied child psychology, and is an expert in how to use picture books to communicate complex ideas to children.

This book is a very valuable addition to the PDA library. Part self-help guide, part gentle workbook, it's presented in a really positive, accessible style which most importantly puts the young person with PDA in the driving seat.
The PDA Society.

Insightful, helpful, encouraging, hopeful and compassionate from beginning to end!
Realising that your child may have, or has recently been diagnosed with, ASD with a profile of PDA can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for many parents. But, help is now at hand in the form of this refreshing and unique addition to the current range of PDA literature. I sincerely wish that this book had been available when myself and my daughter first began navigating this most complex of journeys and I can't recommend it highly enough to those who are now beginning, or struggling in theirs.

Jane Sherwin, author of 'Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome: My Daughter is not Naughty'
This publication provides a starting point for a conversation with the child about their form of autism and how it is part of their unique personality and profile. The accessible and informative style will provide an invaluable resource to anyone looking to support a child in developing his or her self-awareness
Phil Christie, Consultant Child Psychologist, author of ‘Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome. A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals’.
I think that one of the best ways to help your PDA child is to support them to gain insight in a nonjudgmental and open way. Helping them communicate this to you helps them feel understood and then empowers you as their advocate. It also helps you as the parent see all those truly wonderful positives about your PDA child. This book provides a wonderful framework for doing that.
Cassandra Davies, parent of a young person with PDA and member of PDA Action Group Somerset and PDA, Pathological Demand Avoidance Support – Families & Practitioners UK

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Me and My PDA by Gloria Dura-Vila and Tamar Levi Cover
Acknowledgements 6
Letter to You 7
What does PDA mean? 14
Why bother with this book? 15
Autism Spectrum Disorder and PDA 16
What PDA is not 16
Your PDA does NOT define you 17
Important facts about YOU 18
You, the teacher 21
Challenges You May Struggle With 24
You can do it! You can't do it! 27
Why can't I just do it!? 29
What might be making it difficult? 30
Trying hard to explain the reasons for not being able to do something 32
My feelings about demands 32
You want to do something but can't get yourself to do it! 34
Making choices can be hard 35
Often feeling very anxious 36
Identifying when you are starting to feel anxious: The sparks 37
You may want to try to think about these important questions 38
Losing control of your actions – your anxiety is the troublemaker 40
How do you lose control? 41
After losing control? 47
Not enough time to give you my answer! 48
Friendships can be tricky! 49
Carried away by my imagination… 52
Some things occupy my thoughts too much 56
Struggling to go to school 58
Puzzled about feelings 62
Your Own Strategies to Help Tackle Your Challenges 65
At last, strategies! 65
Give me options 65
Give me options but keep in mind … 66
Having a 'safe space' 69
What can you do in your 'safe space'? 70
Having a 'safe person' 75
Being in control of my plans and routines 77
My most important routines 79
My morning routine 79
My bedtime routine 81
Other important routines 82
I'd like these changes in my routine if possible 85
My 'ideal time' 88
My very own super 'ideal time' activity 89
Feeling cornered and about to lose control… 90
How can you help yourself? How can others help you? 91
'Danger zone'…'point of no return'… 91
Acting early! 92
I am very sensitive to… 100
How would you like your parents and teachers to help you with your friendships? 101
How do I like to do my learning? 104
Using my imagination for lots of things 106
Praise me but do it my way! 108
How do you like your information? 109
My 'tailor-made' description of PDA 110
MY DIFFICULTIES: The things I struggle with 113
MY STRATEGIES: What works for me 124
Goodbye Letter to You 136
About the author/illustrator 144