My Son Soars When His Learning Environment Suits

Today Sonny and I did something a little different to what we would usually do on a Sunday afternoon. We enjoyed a little quality time together, just us two.

We’ve had a really lovely half term over all and it came at a crucial time for our family. It’s amazing how this one in particular changes when you take school out of the equation. He’s enjoyed time at home, going out and about with minimal demands. I can’t wait for the summer holidays!

Today we did something special. I met with a private tutoring centre earlier this week. I explained to the lady the difficulties we were experiencing and how I felt this could be of benefit to him and she arranged a complimentary session for us. It’s something I’ve been thinking about introducing to Sonny for a while now. Especially as he finishes school after lunch each day.

Sonny is such a clever boy! Although he refuses to do anything ‘school’ related at home, I’m fully aware of how brilliant he is when it comes to reading, writing and maths.

Sonny is struggling in mainstream education and it’s nothing that he can help. I’ve learnt alot about PDA and how to help reduce the level of stress and anxiety. I know that many of the strategies used for ‘typical’ autism aren’t suitable for a child with PDA. It’s unfortunate that Pathological Demand Avoidance isn’t something that is recognised or diagnosed in our area.

It’s for this reason that so many PDA children are struggling in mainstream school, not meeting the criteria for a placement in a special needs school. A recent survey from the PDA society showed 70% of 1200 children with PDA aren’t in school. There are thousands and thousands of children NOT accessing the education they are capable of receiving. Thousands of children NOT reaching their full potential because their environment is not suitable for them to achieve in.

Sonny thoroughly enjoyed his taster session. The environment was perfect for him to work in. They already had a great understanding of Autism and were well prepared with a wobble cushion and the pencil grips he uses. He loved using the computers and got stuck in working with his headphones on. He was off and away, there was no stopping him.

They were so impressed with Sonny. According to them he is working above what is expected for his age in both Maths and English.

It’s amazing what our children can achieve when the learning environment is made to suit them and not the other way around.

Seeing Sonny learn, thrive and show what he can do without teetering on the edge of his sanity made my afternoon. He was proud, I was proud. They were proud!

I’d forgotten this is how it’s meant to be.

I’d forgotten this is how it feels.

Sure feels good.

About the Author

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Mum of three young boys. Sharing our family journey to an Autism and ADHD diagnosis.



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