Five Reasons Young People With Pathological Demand Avoidance Are The Best Learners In The World

All too often we look at young at young people and assume that the fact that they are struggling to learn is their fault. We talk about their lack of concentration, their lack of motivation, their lack of ability to respond to our demands.

But the reality is that if we look more carefully that often isn’t the case at all….

Children With PDA Are Specialists

Find a topic that they are interested in and they will impress you beyond belief with their knowledge. Children that on paper and in the classroom have difficulties with working memory, with focus and with producing work in the required format, can often produce the most astounding results when given the chance to demonstrate what they know about a to
If that matters to them in a format that they choose.

These are the children that as adults will be our inventors, our creators, our problem solvers.

Children With PDA Like Detail

It’s rare that a child with PDA doesn’t focus on the detail. Think of all the times they’ve pointed out inaccuracies in your conversations or faults in your lesson. Think of the times they’ve remembered precise colours or the exact words of their favourite characters.

These are not children who are not capable of learning, they are children that most people just don’t understand how to teach.

Children With PDA Respond To Rules

I know, it sounds alien doesn’t it? A child who can’t handle demands, but who loves rules. But the truth is that the two are very different. Children with PDA thrive off learning which involves consistent rules. A structure to follow, to reduce anxiety when doing a piece of written work, a video to make that follows the same format as films related to their special interest, a maths problem that follows an unbreakable method.

All too often alongside demands we reduce our expectations. That doesn’t need need to be the case. These are children that require our creativity, not children who cannot learn.

Children With PDA Think Outside The Box

If there is one thing students with PDA show me time and time again, it’s their ability to think differently to their peers. These are the students who when they are free of anxiety produce the most innovative work, the ones who avoid a task they don’t want to do in favour of a preferred (more important) one in minutes, the ones who can teach others with authority.

These are children that will be our leaders, our delegator, our organisers.

Children With PDA Have Incredible Memories

There is so often a misconception that children who cannot remember what they have been taught in a lesson have poor memories. And truth is that isn’t the case. They often have exceptional memories – if you know how to tap into them. What these children need is a handle a hook, something in their existing set of memories to hang their new knowledge off. An ideally one related to their special interest.

Children with difficulties with their working memory, need us to ensure that we don’t confuse that with an inability to remember. After all, can that same child not recite everything known to man about the topics of greatest interest to them?

But Is It Really That Easy?

Easy, no. If it was these young people wouldn’t end up out of school as often as they do. If it was easy they would show their ability in any classroom, whatever the teaching style.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. It is. We just have to know how to enable our children to show the world what they know; to show the world the brilliance that we already see.

And We Can Help You Do That…

Our new #UNIQUEANDSUCCESSFUL membership programme is for parents just like you. It will help give you not only the ways to reach to reach your child, but the ways to enable them…

Not ready to join The Membership yet? Why not listen to our Podcast which will give you some strategies for reducing demands without lowering your expectations.

2 thoughts on “Five Reasons Young People With Pathological Demand Avoidance Are The Best Learners In The World

    1. Hi Elaine, please do get in touch if there is anything we can do to help.

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