My name is Leila and I run the support group. I’m a parent of a 9 year old boy with PDA, and I founded the group in January 2017, as I wanted to meet and get to know others in my area with a PDA child and offer support to anyone who suspected PDA. I’m not an autism professional, just a mum with a lot of experience of parenting PDA. I have read an awful lot on the subject, have attended many PDA training courses and conferences and am just very interested in keeping up to date on all things PDA, and passionate about doing the best by my family and improving my son’s daily life and his future.
I’m deliberately not writing much about my family on this site, as I don’t think any of them would thank me for it! But suffice to say that I’m married with 2 sons (currently 9 and 11) and my son with PDA is GREAT fun and I love him and his older brother to pieces. We were fortunate to get our PDA diagnosis in August 2016, privately initially, but then subsequently endorsed by CAMHS, and actually have found most the professionals we’ve come across along our PDA journey so far to have been very understanding and supportive. Having said that, it has of course been far from an easy ride, and in common with many PDA families we’ve had our share of difficulties and struggles over the years, the inevitable challenges with schooling and of course much heartache and some very dark and bleak times along the way. But now we embrace all that we are and are all the better for it, especially the joy that having PDA in our family can often bring, through our son’s very different (and often hilarious) approach to the world. We wouldn’t be with out it and have realised just how much of value its teaching us and changing us all for the better.
I am also involved in the field of PDA training, and since autumn 2018 have been part of the wonderful team at Berkshire Charity Parenting Special Children where I deliver training workshops on PDA for local parents. I have a professional background as a qualified Training Practitioner from my earlier life in the corporate world, long before I knew anything about PDA, so it makes sense to use my skills in the PDA world now.
I’m also 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. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to do something important and exciting locally to make a difference in the SEND arena, inputting into the heart of Local Authority SEND decision making. Join the WBPCF parents Facebook Page here to keep informed on what is going on in SEND locally in West Berks.
Finally, this section wouldn’t be complete without me saying how important my faith is in my life and how its been instrumental in me surviving my PDA journey. I won’t mention it any more than that, as I know its a subject many do not want to venture into, but if you’d like to talk to me about it then I’m more than happy to share, just ask.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this site and find the group useful.