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Hi Louise
I have a similar-sounding child at school. I agree with the nurture / Thrive approach. With PDA, the provision needs to be child-led.
In my experience, it is almost impossible for a child with extreme anxiety and PDA to be calm and focused AND produce measurable academic progress. Our young man has been on a one-to-one nurture programme with Thrive based activities for 6 months. Anything that looks slightly like an academic demand is met with total shut-down or melt-down and can set back the ‘learning to trust’ process.
All learning is making / doing / playing. So he e.g. builds dens, does Forest School activities, bakes, ‘sculpts’, and investigates topics of his choosing on-line.
He has super-hero puzzle books that help develop and maintain fine motor skills.
We look at sensory issues – and work with the child e.g. we let him spend the day without his shoes on; we use a weighted lap blanket; we always have snacks available.
Number learning is in the form of games. His extreme need for control means we cannot get anywhere near reading and phonics.
My preferred reference book is: The Teacher’s Introduction to Pathological Demand Avoidance: Essential Strategies for the Classroom Paperback – 21 July 2021
by Clare Truman. This promotes understanding and strategies, it does not describe interventions.
Evidence could be Boxall profiling, as suggested, or photos of outcomes or daily reports by the one-to-one support worker.
We believe he will be best supported in a specialist placement and are waiting for an EHCP na.
Good luck. I’d be very interested to hear how you get on.