Managing PDA Can Be Challenging

Here Are Some Useful Tips:

  • Reward systems are ineffective as the individual with PDA feels out of control.  Planned rewards are perceived as a demand.  Positive experiences that flow into each other are more effective.

  • Humor can be very effective at diffusing situations.

  • Depersonalize rules: “It’s a Health and Safety Rule,” or, “It’s the law,” is better than, “Because it’s dangerous,” or, “Because I say so.”

  • Show empathy and talk about what helps, “I know you hate cleaning your room, I  used to hate cleaning mine, how about we to it together?”

  • Use challenges: “I bet you can’t………” or, “ I will race you…….”

  • Let Individuals plan their own routines.

  • Offer a choice that YOU are still in control of:  “Do you want to write your name first, or the date?” or, “Do you want to wear your brown shoes or your gym shoes?”

  • Praise indirectly rather than directly.

  • Reduce pressures, i.e., allow extra time, pick your battles.

  • Give demands indirectly.

  • Give individuals the chance to help, demonstrate what they are good at, responsibilities, etc.

  • Have an exit strategy or code word.

PLEASE NOTE: These are just general suggestions; strategies will likely need to be individualized for each child. 

Thank you to the adult PDAers whose print discussions about the name for PDA inspired our graphic.