My name is Kerissa. This is my story about being a late diagnosed autistic and the mother of two autistic children. Each day is a new quest in learning how to support each other to be the best we can. I'm passionate about being authentic to our autistic and PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) nature.
We are Living Lyman
PDA is the abbreviation for Pathological Demand Avoidance. PDA is a profile of Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is characterized by having constant extreme anxiety that prohibits the individual from engaging with everyday demands. Pressure to comply with demands can result in fight, flight or freeze response. Along with debilitating panic attacks and meltdowns. It is best supported with compassion and a Low Demand Lifestyle.
Autistic experience refers to accepting and understanding the lived experience of an autistic person. It is viewing Autism Spectrum Disorder not just as a disorder but as a way of experiencing life and the autistic person's point of view as they process the world around them. It's realizing that being autistic is different, not less.
Understanding autistic experience is key to positive autistic identity.
Positive autistic identity is a view point of looking at Autism Spectrum Disorder not as a disorder and a list of deficits but as who the person is and the many POSITIVE traits and characteristics that come with being autistic. It is about an autistic person accepting and viewing themselves in a positive way. It also involves allowing an autistic person to be authentic to who they are and not masking or conforming to other's expectations.
PDA is not listed as a diagnosis in the current Diagnostic Manual. It can be recognized and accepted by a professional that has an understanding of the PDA profile. PDA is often "self-identified" as it is not widely known by professionals. This is why it is important to advocate and educate on PDA.
This subject is highly debated. It comes down to each individual's feelings. If you are unsure it is best to ask the autistic people in your life.
As a person who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I prefer "autistic person" for myself and my children. Autism is not something that I "have". It makes me who I am. It is in every part of me and how I view and process the world around me. It is the operating system to which my brain works.
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