SLP 054: ODD and PDA


Defines Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) as an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behaviour toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behaviour.
Defines Pathological Defiance Disorder as an extreme avoidance of everyday demands and an anxiety-driven need to be in control.

11 Quick Tips 

For Supporting Students with ODD/PDA 

1️⃣ Choose your battles. As soon as you find yourself in conflict ask “Is conflict going to resolve or escalate the situation.”

2️⃣ Try distracting the child to something else in a very calm voice

3️⃣ Try to catch the child doing LOTS of great things. Even if they sit still for one second, tell them “great sitting” as soon as they do the right thing! 

4️⃣ Let them be your special helper or give special jobs 

5️⃣ NEVER take what they say personally (yes we know that sometimes what they say is awful – killing, hurting, etc… but what they want the most is a reaction so don’t react!) 

6️⃣ Remember that strategies will wear out very quickly, and when they do, move on to another strategy 

7️⃣ Children with ODD have a strong resistance to change. Any changes can cause a lot of anxiety, so look at strategies to help them manage their anxiety 

8️⃣ Offer clear choices with set boundaries 

9️⃣​​ Break tasks and activities into small achievable steps 

1️⃣0️⃣ Find small ways to connect and build a relationship with them. Start with talking about things they love or are interested in 

1️⃣1️⃣ Use physical prompts rather than directly asking them to do something. E.g. point to what work they need to do, rather than telling them to do it. (refer to pg 6 on why visuals are so important)

Discussed in this episode

Definitions of ODD and PDA

Strategies to support students with ODD or PDA

Resources Discussed

15 in stock

Super Shamlal – Living and Learning with Pathological Demand Avoidance | by K.I. Al-Ghani | Shamlal the Camel finds it almost impossible to do all the normal, everyday things that the other camels do. Her first word was ‘NO!’ and this is still the word she repeats the most through every day. Luckily, Shamlal’s parents take her to a psychologist who explains that she has PDA, and gives her tips for how to live and learn with the syndrome.

Educational environments can present challenges for children with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), who require different strategies than children with a more straightforward presentation of autism, and schools frequently find themselves struggling to meet their complex needs. In this guide PDA experts Ruth Fidler and Phil Christie outline effective strategies for supporting pupils with PDA in education settings.

Including a useful overview of PDA, this book outlines the impact of this diagnostic profile on learning, and explains why Collaborative Approaches to Learning is such a successful method for supporting pupils with PDA. It shows how teaching professionals can get started with this approach, with advice for implementing key strategies to overcome common challenges. The book also includes information on creating PDA-friendly learning environments, helping pupils to develop long-term social and emotional resilience. With handy downloadable resources, valuable information on supporting the wellbeing of adults who work with children with PDA, this is an essential resource for teaching and support staff in mainstream and special education schools.

7 in stock

Check out my other podcasts on ADHD:

  • Episode 125: Setting up Learning From Home for Students with Autism Spectrum, ADHD, PDA & Neurodiversity
  • Episode 115: What you can Learn from Lived Experiences of Autism and ADHD
  • Episode 108: Understanding Screen Addiction with ADHD expert Simon Da Roza

More Resources on ADHD & PDA

  • The Ultimate Guide to School and Home

  • Executive Function Dysfunction

  • Kids in the Syndrome Mix

  • Step by Step Help for Children with ADHD

  • Helping Kids and Teens With ADHD in School

  • Winston Wallaby Can’t Stop Bouncing

  • Organize Your ADD/ADHD Child

  • Can I Tell You About ADHD?

  • All Dogs Have ADHD UPDATED and REVISED

  • Super Shamlal – Living and Learning with Pathological Demand Avoidance 

  • Autism and Everyday Executive Function

  • Collaborative Approaches To Learning For Pupils With PDA



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