About Me

My name is Leila and I set up the support group in 2017 after my son, then 7 was diagnosed with PDA.  I founded the group as I wanted to meet and get to know others in my area with a PDA child so we could share experiences and help each other as we navigate this difficult parenting journey. 

I’m not an autism professional, just a mum with several years of experience of parenting PDA and who has read plenty on the subject, attended (and run!) various PDA training courses, and been through many of the difficult processes of fighting for my child’s diagnosis, education, securing him an EHCP and a place in specialist school and so on.

I’m married with 2 sons (both now in their teens) and am glad to say after many many years of struggle and hardship, when PDA dominated and restricted all of our lives (including 2 years our PDA’er wasn’t in school at all) we are very fortunate that he has now begun to flourish and we enjoy and appreciate all his talents and hilarious personality. Its taken a huge amount of effort, completely re-learning how to parent, endless advocating and a whole network of other people who have been involved over many years supporting us in different ways, but we are getting there, and I no longer dread the future.

Due to the challenges of his PDA (including 2 years when he was out of school completely) its been impossible for me to work and I had to give up my career in the corporate world at an early stage of my parenting journey. So over the years I’ve done bits and pieces of voluntary or other work as and when life allowed – for a while I used to run training courses for other parents at the wonderful Berkshire Charity Parenting Special Children and until recently I was an active member of the West Berks Parent Carer Forum (WBPCF) Steering Group, which is a fab group of parent-carers who work with our Local Authority in all areas of Health, Education and other relevant services, to have our voices heard in improving the experiences of SEND children and their families in our area. 

The other thing that has got me through is my Christian faith, which has been instrumental in me surviving my PDA journey. I won’t mention it any more than that, other than to say we have had so many blessings that have helped us out and turned impossible situations around when things looked incredibly bleak. I’m aware its not a subject many wish to discuss so I’ll leave it there but am happy to share more with anyone who’d like to hear.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this site and find the group useful.