The constant conflict between Autism and PDA

PDA is Autism. We have all the usual Autism traits, preferences and needs but with a PDA twist. This means many of the usual Autism traits are skewered to form our PDA traits. Often our autistic needs are at constant war with our PDA needs. A good example is in this meme (credit goes to Sally Cat, here’s a link to her facebook page – Sally Cat’s PDA Page )

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Meme is a picture of a woman split in half from the top down.

Sally Cat’s guide to PDA

Routine & PDA

The Autistic part of me craves Routine.

The PDA part of me hates it.

As a result, I only like Routine I have chosen.

It sometimes feels like I’m splitting myself in half!

The PDA and the Autistic parts of myself are always at war.

The Autistic side wants to do things in order and the ‘correct’ way, the PDA side wants to get it over with as fast as possible and do things differently every time. This means I end up cutting corners trying to be both quick and efficient.

The PDA part of me loves change and novelty, it makes me ill to keep things the same. The Autistic part of me fears change and the unknown and craves the comfort of the familiar.

The Autistic part of me needs to know every detail of an event so I can plan in detail. The PDA part of me doesn’ want to know, planning leads to expectation which leads to anxiety and disappointment.

The Autistic part of me wants to please everyone and do what everyone wants me to do, the Autistic part of me wants to follow the rules to the letter. The PDA part of me resists everything, it wants to throw out the rule book or deliberatly break the rules just to show it can and that no one can tell it me what to do.

The PDA part of me needs to control everything and everyone around me. The Autistic part of me needs to control just me.

The Autistic part of me wants to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way. The PDA part of me wants to shake it up, do it differently everytime, or preferably not at all.

The Autistic part of me wants to do everything, but try nothing. The PDA part of me wants to do nothing, but try everything.

Autism is old and calm and stable, it’s familiar and constant and dependable.

PDA is new and frantic and all over the place, it’s novelty and fun and different.

And they are both at war within me.

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7 thoughts on “The constant conflict between Autism and PDA”

  1. Yes, I see that with PanKwake. She always wants to know what we are doing today. So we have a weekly visual schedule.

    But keeping to a schedule or routine is impossible. It is challenging with home ed. Not able to commit to activities until the last minute or not at all.

    1. Yes. Thankfully mine prefer to know as little as possible and only at the last minute, though I can tell not knowing is stressful, it is less stressful for them because if the plans change they just can’t handle it (me too actually lol). It’s hard to find the right balance that brings the least amount of stress. I think one of the reasons I managed to survive school was because my terrible memory I often had no clue what we were doing that day, so just followed everyone else whilst in a daydream lol

  2. You summed up my daughter perfectly! The only thing I would add for her is she is a people-person inside, but her Autism/PDA/Anxiety forces her to not be. I can see all this conflict plainly on her face and in her actions every day. I just found your blog and am looking forward to reading it!

  3. This is an absolutely amazing description! I’m really grateful to have read this and to be able to share it. In fact, my Mum sent me the link as she found it accurate and helpful regarding my son. I can’t get on Facebook to tell you properly!

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