At Peace Parents

Information updated on Tuesday, May 28th 2024, 11:03
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I’m Casey Ehrlich, Ph.D., and I can give you the tools and strategies you need to support a PDA child or child with a hyper-sensitive threat response.

If your child has already received an Autism diagnosis, chances are high that you were “welcomed” into the world of ASD with a 100-page document from Autism Speaks, followed by a 3-page list of ABA and behavior-based resources in your area. If your child received an ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnoses, you were likely presented with behavioral strategies and parenting tips to be stricter, more consistent and follow through on boundaries. It is important to know that – in spite of what certain clinicians and professionals will tell you – a behavioral approach simply won’t help or support the PDA child and can actually put them at risk of complex trauma and nervous system burnout.

Alternatively, if you are without a diagnosis that truly “fits,” confused and lost in the wilderness of acronyms, or watching your child’s behavior worsen with reward-punishment-based behavioral programs, this is your permission and starting point to take another path.

Unfortunately, the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) profile is often missed by professionals or misdiagnosed. There are two reasons for this: It is not yet a category for diagnosis in Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) and because PDA produces paradoxical behavior that challenges the conventional wisdom on what is defined as “Autistic” (e.g. These children can often make great eye contact, have strong verbal skills, and a strong interest in social engagement).

Although PDA is not (currently) a category for diagnosis in the U.S., it is real, and Casey and the At Peace Parents Team are at the forefront bringing awareness to the medical community, therapeutic circles, educational settings, families and friend circles. Casey is here with you, truly where the rubber hits the road, in her home, with her PDA child, figuring out how to support them, day in and day out.

Over the past Three years of working in the PDA space, Casey has figured out what resources can support the PDA child and YOU as a parent, so that you don’t have to spend your time searching and going down unhelpful paths, like she did. The more information you have, the better you are able to help support and advocate for your children.

So here’s our recommendation: Throw that Autism Speaks file in the trash, abandon those reward-punishment models that don’t work for your kid and that make you feel like a crappy parent, and use this resource list instead!

Keywords: Spanish