Seeking the opinions and advice of others regarding Pathological Demand Avoidance as it relates to Asperger’s Syndrome has shown me that there is a world of debate out there regarding the relevance of seeking to apply yet another label to the behaviors of those already defined as being on the Autism Spectrum.
As the mother of a child who’s currently going through what can only be described as a very challenging time without the benefits or understandings that an accurate label/explanation can bring, I’m going to have to put my hand up right now and admit that I’m at the point where I’ll take whatever accurate labels/explanations I can get.
But…..I will only accept those labels and explanations if they both make sense and can accurately explain my daughter’s behavioral needs.
I won’t ignore the wisdom and understandings being offered to me on this subject by those living with Asperger’s Syndrome, who argue that PDA like behavior is, and always has been, a facet of their AS experience and as such does not require its own specific and fragmented label.
As such, many feel that the addition of yet another label such as PDA to the Autism Spectrum, is an un-necessary attempt by some professionals to further eradicate or seek to re-define AS as a personality disorder.
Given the changes taking places within the DSM-V one would be wise to at least ponder the potential of these arguments.
However, at the same time, I have to acknowledge that I am coming at the whole PDA side of things from a mother’s point of view.
And from a mother’s point of view, I can’t help but feel that a diagnosis of AS alone, although it may be accurate to a large extent, still does not provide me with enough of an explanation as to why my child behaves so aggressively and manipulatively at times.
Yes children with AS get overloaded with social stimuli, yes they have meltdowns, yes they can be aggressive, yes they like to be in environments that they are both familiar and comfortable with, but on the whole, do they willfully seek to manipulate, confront or act physically abusively toward people?
These are the things that I do not, as yet, know.
At the moment a diagnosis of AS alongside a diagnosis of PDA provides me with a far clearer picture of what it is that my child may be experiencing.
As a mother my goal is to try my best to understand and help my daughter.
I’m not trying to right the wrongs of the world in one foul swoop.
Nor argue semantics over whether or not PDA, as a conceptual diagnosis on the whole, is either correct or valid for every individual with AS, as I suspect indeed, it is not.
And I have found that there are many parents out there who find the explanations that PDA offers a valuable way of helping and understanding their children.
So is PDA, as an explanation for aggressive behavior in children with AS a worthwhile path to go down?
As yet I’m not 100% sure.
But what I do know is this;
It is better to have a mother who is trying to help and understand her child, than to have a mother who is not.
It is better to have a mother who seeks information and accurate explanations, than to have one who blindly follows whatever the current bells and whistles of the day may be.
Am I wrong to question the worth of attaching any possibly incorrect label to my daughter?
Am I wrong to logically seek to weigh up the pro’s and con’s behind an explanation that seems to fit, yet others find so irksome?
Am I wrong to consider the opinions and life experiences of others?
To ask those who have the privilege of knowing the PDA debate from the inside out how they feel and what they think about it?
No, I don’t think so.
I think it would be wrong of me to do anything otherwise.
- Pathological Demand Avoidance. PDA. Could this be the answer to my daughters behavior ? (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)
- Don’t Judge Me. Just Love Me. Asperger’s Diagnosis on the horizon. (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)