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Do lots of people on the spectrum find demands stressful or is this really something which sets PDA apart

(74 Posts)
Corrimony Fri 18-Nov-16 18:02:04

Isn't it very common for autists to find demands placed upon them stressful?

Do those that manage to cope with demands still find the demands stressful but find ways of coping with the stress - or, do some really enjoy routines and order imposed on them by authority (perhaps finding the structure reassuring and calming)?

I have long since come to terms with my DS's ASC diagnosis but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the PDA label people around him are increasingly using - even though some of the strategies are great. Just trying to figure it out in relation to other ASCs.

I'd be so interested to hear your thoughts!

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 18:42:07

My feeling is that it shouldn't be a separate diagnosis, that many autistic people have varying levels of demand avoidance which fluctuate over time, some much worse than others (those who get PDA dx), and that what we really need is a better understanding of the diversity of autistic presentations and how they change over time.

I spoke briefly with a leading PDA researcher earlier this year and he looked seriously horrified that 'PDA strategies' work so well for my ds who's dx is Aspergers. At that point I lost a bit of faith in the so-called experts, realising that they are often relying on outdated stereotypes.

zzzzz Fri 18-Nov-16 18:58:54

I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to PDA. I don't really think it's "a thing" (though DS has been demand avoidant to extreme). What I mean is I think it's a useful model for people to rationalise behaviour and hang support strategies on but not more than that. I doubt their are any people in the world who aren't DA at some time and I doubt their are any autistic people who aren't PDA at some time.

I may as well go and stone myself now because I know their is nothing so annoying as the person who just doesn't get it blush

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:05:29


PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:07:45

Autist is a great word.

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:10:10

Oh crikey do you think? I can't say I'm keen. Not at all. It smacks of person = condition to me.

Yoarchie Fri 18-Nov-16 19:12:18

A flautist is a person who plays the flute.
An autist is a person with autism.

I think it's pretty good actually.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:12:23

What's wrong with that? I'm an autistic person/I'm an autist. No different.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:13:15

Similarly, I'm a female person, not a person with femaleness.

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:15:58

Im not even keen on "autistic person" TBH. But autist sounds archaic. Sorry.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:16:57

Are you autistic Manumission?

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:19:21

Oh come on polter. I just said I don't like that word.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:20:17

I know it's a digression but it's important. Generally autistic adults prefer identity-first language and parents of autistic children prefer person-first language.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:21:18

But I do, so I'll use my preferred term and you can use your preferred term.

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:22:02

Well I have a foot in both camps then and I still hate it.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:23:45

I used to hate it too. I argued against it on these boards in fact grin

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:25:55

And then you saw the light? smile

It just sounds like fighting talk to me. Something to use if you need an authentic black eye in a hurry.

zzzzz Fri 18-Nov-16 19:26:53

Autistic pleases me, but I agree that it sound ye oldie worldie. I think it is in common use on the continent.
I used to be very "person first" when DS was younger. In fact he was ponder why that was only yesterday. Perhaps as a small less "normal" person (in that he couldn't talk) it was more important to me BECAUSE people tended to treat him like a piece of furniture. Now he is more chatty I find it weird that I ever thought being called "autistic" was dehumanising. confused

We live and learn, and for me that's meant changing my mind about people first terminology.

And back to PDA grin

zzzzz Fri 18-Nov-16 19:27:58

Stop typing so fast! blush

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:28:10

Going back to the OP. Both me and ds fight against imposed routines but have very rigid routines and rituals of our own. We are both fairly demand avoidant in different and similar ways. It's interesting because dp (not diagnosed but no doubt he's autistic too) doesn't have the demand avoidance bit, he's much more compliant and able to do things even when he doesn't want to. He can 'grin and bear it' which me and ds really cannot.

zzzzz Fri 18-Nov-16 19:28:50

And that should say AUTIST pleases me angry

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:29:58

Maybe it sounds like it belongs with 'spastic' because of the Ian Dury song?

I still can't bring myself to answer the question because it would feel treacherous to describe -or think of - anyone I know as 'an autist' but yes, let's stop the derail.

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:30:39

That sounds a tad unpleasant and verging on threatening Manumission hmm

PolterGoose Fri 18-Nov-16 19:31:21

... that was obviously to your 'black eye' post

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 19:32:55

Tsk. No the other way around. I'd only use a word like that to provoke someone into punching me.

If for some weird reason, I wanted someone to hit me. It was an ironical point.

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