Parents of children who meet the criteria of PDA have submitted their stories for families and professionals to read. Families struggle for years seeking understanding of and support for their children's condition. Once suggested strategies for PDA are implemented, their lives invariably change for the better.
Eight year old girl in Australia
My daughter has always been anxious and clingy. She would not settle as a baby unless I was with her. Attempts to get her to sleep in her cot were futile and the sleep course I attended did not add anything new to the myriad of strategies I had read about and tried from countless books on getting babies to sleep. If I left her to cry in her cot, she would thrash against the sides and hurt herself.
Eleven year old boy in the UK
Even as a baby my son seemed more anxious than other babies. He cried a lot and liked to be constantly held and fed. He never crawled or held up his arms to me like other babies did. He walked late but was running around within days of learning.
Fourteen year old girl in Australia
When our daughter Emily arrived fourteen years ago, she was the most beautiful infant I had ever laid eyes on. Caring for her was like looking after a beautiful big baby doll. She looked nice but there was very little reciprocated communication from her in the way of body language or verbal interactions.
Fourteen year old girl in New Zealand
My daughter was privately diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in June 2015 at the age of twelve. After years of searching for answers to her unusual difficulties in day to day life, we finally had an explanation that felt correct.
Five year old boy in Australia
My pregnancy with my son was perfect. He was highly active in utero but the pregnancy had no issues. He was alert and calm at birth, but suffered from what I thought was colic. After weeks of sleepless nights, and 6+ hours straight of crying a night, I realised that he would sleep well and peacefully if he was directly in contact with me all night. This has continued even now, at five years old.
Sixteen year old girl in Australia
Like many other parents I grew up with expectations around parenting so when I had my daughter I was a relatively strict but loving parent (well that was my take on it). By the time she was 5 she had never had a tantrum or meltdown and was so unbelievably well behaved that I thought I was doing a really good job. Other parents would comment on what a good little girl she was. She was intelligent, compliant and everyone loved her. When she started school things went askew.