We’ve all heard the statement ‘when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism’, but is this also true for PDA?
I’ve heard many people say that the profile or trait list for PDA describes their child ‘to a T’, or ‘could have been written about X’. I haven’t heard many people say this about the autistic profile/trait list. For autistics, the autistic trait list is a hit and miss list. Some people make no eye contact whilst others stare at people for ages, some are non-verbal whilst others never stop talking, some are confined to wheelchairs to move around whilst others merely bump into furniture occasionally, some have lots of friends whilst others have one or none, some obviously stim whilst other’s stims are only noticed if you know what to look for, some ‘get’ sarcasm whilst others don’t, some are empathic whilst others are alexi, some have lots of co-morbids whilst others don’t. It varies.
The PDA trait list though, whilst being far smaller, seems to fit nearly 100% (discounting the ‘language delay, seemingly as a result of passivity’). When you add in other PDA traits, such as a preference for change, a need for control, social manipulation, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ behaviour, etc, it seems like PDA kids are peas in a pod. It’s rarer to find traits which aren’t shared by other PDAers than Autistics. If we were to give out a list of Autistic traits to Autistics and ask them if they fit them, I’d be surprised if the match exceeded 80%. But if we were to give out a list of PDA traits to PDAers and asked if it fit then I’d be surprised if the match didn’t exceed 80%. As far as I can see PDAers are more similar than Autistics.
Maybe we could say ‘if you’ve met one PDAer, you’ve probably met most PDAers’.
Of course they do have their differences, we’re not clones. PDA is a sub-type of autism so naturally we will have differing autistic traits too. It’s just funny how thousands of children from all across the planet, with different socio-economic lives can all have the same list of characteristics which describe them ‘to a T’.
What do you think?