I personally believe control is a way of maintaining freedom (which we PDAers are hired-wired to need)
And “Demands” are instances of non-freedom.
Our demand-avoidance is therefore the result of our desperate need to remain free.
Sally Cat’s PDA Page
Along with leading experts on PDA (that also importantly happen be our adult friends with PDA sharing their voice) that I quote in this blog, I am of the opinion that our children with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) have been born with a hard-wired deliberate and glorious intention in life to seek and maintain their freedom.
In fact, I think it’s the basis of human experience for us all, but our children with PDA hold to it with really important conviction.
They hold themselves in determination to experience autonomy and feel alignment with who they truly are in ways I spend much time assisting others to rediscover and repair in their own adult lives in my work as an Energy Therapist.
“Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is an Autism Spectrum neurotype characterized by an intense need for freedom and self-determination, such that, ANY demands which may impede this need provoke significant anxiety and so are pathologically avoided.”
I believe this is a true gift for us parents and carers. Becoming a parent to a child with PDA means I’ve certainly experienced a catalyst effect in my own autonomy and self determination.
“Children with PDA can only function if they are granted total freedom over their own lives”
Harry Thompson ‘The PDA Paradox’
I share Emotional Freedom Techniques (aka EFT or Tapping) with parents of children with PDA to help them unravel, one step at a time, their lifetime of conditioning and find not only peace, but the true freedom.
The simple self applied, and easily picked up EFT is likened to an emotional form of accupuncture.
Truly understnding the benefits of EFT means understanding that the more unresolved emotional issues you clear, the more peace and emotional freedom you will have in your life.
‘The Palace of Possibilities’ that exist for us all is expansive in ways that hard to even comprehend. It depends if we want to play safe or truly go in the journey of discovery, but when we start to unpick all the ways we’ve given up our power to please others and tied ourself in metaphorical chains to appease, soothe and gain titbits of approval from those we give authority in our lives it’s pretty eye opening.
Rather than see only challenges to overcome, fights to loose or win, difficulties and hardship…can we reframe to consider the perfection of this life journey for our children, and equally for us and ask ourselves “How is this life experience helping me expand more fully into my own freedom?”
I hear the irony expressed with frustration from parents of children with PDA, and I truly understand where it comes from when they say to me: “How can I, the parent, enjoy my child’s freedom with such ease & joy when their freedom seems to come from needing to control me so entirely?!”
It feels, doesn’t it, that in fact the very freedom I’m speaking to you of here is either at odds with your child’s need for autonomy and freedom OR your own freedom is squashed and stifled in order for you to lovingly meet their needs as I know you so wish to.
Well Dear Loving Parent;
This conversation takes us deep into the knowing that freedom lies, NOT in the conditions around us, but in how we use our power of thought, power of intention, the power of love, and in the releasing of all our resistance to each moment.
In THAT freedom, where we lean in fully knowing we’ve chosen that feeling and that we are expressing our truth.
In that moment without the conditioned responses of our past experiences, environment, or anxiety of the future. Simply the freedom of being here fully now is our gift! In this knowing, in this being, we have something to offer our children.
We often understand our freedom in relation to other people. It often feels like others are trying to control is, contain us, restrain us, confine us, or assert authority over us.
Yet, our freedom can be found in our beliefs, in our thoughts, in our desires, in our imaginative creations. In the ways we are truly free by nature only WE can imprison and silence ourselves. The irony is until we really understand this it appears as though our freedom is something we need to seek from others.
I am 100% responsible for who I am in this relationship. My task is to FREE MYSELF sufficiently so that I can respond from the present moment – not from past programming. That’s what FREEDOM is.