Saturday, January 1, 2022

Experiences of PDA's presence at birth... and before

PDA, which stands for "pathological demand avoidance" is a neurotype (life-long neurological difference) which matches criteria for autism spectrum diagnosis because it entails rigid thinking (our demand avoidance) and social communication & interaction issues.

Empirical evidence for PDA is lacking, and there's an army of critics saying PDA doesn't qualify as a distinct neurotype. Some argue that PDA is a trauma response that any autistic person can experience. These arguments fail to acknowledge that PDA, as a neurotype, is more than its trait of "pathological" (AKA inborn and involuntary) demand avoidance. "PDA" refers to both our demand avoidance trait and our entire neurotype, which has the additional traits of people-focus; high anxiety; personal control-need; and propensity for fantasy & role-play.

People who directly experience PDA, either because they're PDA themselves (like me), or because they have a family member  who's PDA (like me also) don't need empirical proof our condition's existence: it's blatantly obvious. However,, much, much more empirical evidence is needed to silence the objections of sceptics, who have no direct experience of the neurotype.

This blogpost is an assembly of first-hand parental experiences of the presence of PDA from birth, and even pre-birth. Whilst this isn't empirical evidence, it does provide a catalogue of lived experiences from a wide range of individuals. These quotes are from a blogpost originally posted by Free PDA in December 2021, and were provided by members of the Free PDA Facebook group.

Pre-birth PDA

Sharron Maddison: My son stretched out a lot in the womb, it was extremely painful. He broke his waters at 32 weeks and the doctors joked that he was a stroppy little monkey. He went into distress during the birth at 36 weeks, things were taking a turn for the worst. As soon as he was born he was absolutely fine. The doctor commented about his impatience and said you're going to know you've got that one! Never a truer word spoken

Christine: Well ... He wouldn't come out for a start. After that he was the most placid baby I've ever met. Hit milestones, though we always wondered should he cry more?! I think I counted 12 weeks with no crying. He was like an angel! This was all during first yr I'm talking about

Louise: My waters broke a few weeks early, (probably due to loose connective tissues), and I went into hospital for observations to ensure there were no infections, and every time a monitor was placed on my baby in my womb the nurse would say click this button every time he moves. Me : click, click, click, click, click (in rapid succession), nurse: no, only when he moves, me: he's kickboxing the monitor every time you place it on him! He is not happy at all!

After 2 days I was finally induced, and after 4.5 hours he was placed on my chest where he was lovely and snug and happy. Until his Dad decided he wanted a hold of him! He screamed and screamed, threw his head up with his neck was stiff and straight as it could be (with no support), and he gripped his fathers finger til it went red! As soon as he was handed back to me though, he calmed down again!

And this set the pattern of him being a really passive baby as long as he was with me all the time. However, things soon got difficult when I went back to work and other carers were involved

Louise Perry: My daughter was 13 days overdue, positioned sideways & wouldn’t budge. She needed a hell of a lot of persuasion to come out! She was the happiest baby, always smiling and taking everything in. Rarely cried. I lost count of how many people would say ‘she’s so chilled out’. I now look back and see that she fits the ‘passive early history’ description. She slept a solid 12hrs through the night from 8 weeks old. Napped twice a day. But, she would never sleep in the car seat, sling or buggy. And would be extremely unhappy if she missed her nap. So we had to follow her (very strict!) routine & be at home for her naps. It made it tricky to leave the house for long. Age 6 she still hates leaving the house!

Neonatal PDA

Pat Kind: My boy was very attentive and alert from the beginning, straining to watch the tiny tv in the maternity ward and focusing on people's faces. He could interact taking turns to make noises and facial expressions, which everyone remarked upon, a sign that he was developing the ability to communicate very early. He begun using words, from 8 months and by 18 months was using sentences of up to 5 words. He was quite an easy baby who slept well at night and only really cried when being undressed. From around eight months he begun having huge difficulties falling asleep and waking up which affected his mood at those times. He would be very loud and angry before and after sleep. 23 years later he still does not follow a 24 hr sleep pattern. (My son was diagnosed with ADHD aged 10 back in 2007. Camhs rejected my suggestion that he was autistic because he didn't fit the typical profile of language delay and communication difficulties. He didn't not make it through the education system, leaving school at 14. As soon as I heard about PDA it all made sense. I actually work with children with PDA now so I am confident that he has this though not medically diagnosed)

Adira Restless: My PDA son was different from the start. Everything had to be on his terms from day one. He forced himself upright in the hospital and shocked the nurses because they thought that was impossible. He hated being cuddled and wrapped. Always seemed to want to be free.  Then from about one he'd drive us mad screaming for things and then not wanting them the moment he got them. He would refuse them completely (things he really wanted) and we couldn't figure out why.

Louise: Adira, the nurses at the hospital were shocked over the same thing with my baby! It’s that unbelievable strength they have!

Adira Restless: Louise, it's amazing. My daughter was the same. I've got photos of her at 7 weeks after she'd forced herself into a standing position pushing against my husband's leg.

Sally Cat: My baby looked completely furious after being pulled out of my womb via c-section!

Anonymous: My first baby was highly alert from the moment he was born. His first day he held an intense gaze with me and his dad. From the start he was straining to hold his head up and look around. Health visitors commented on how strong he was and how intent he was on interacting with people. By 3 months he'd learnt how to make a joke (turning away and then looking back suddenly). Feeding with anyone around was hard as he would be straining to watch everyone and couldn't concentrate on the feed. He didn't like being put down, so spent most of the time being carried so he could see what was going on. He would grab our faces and turn them to him if we were talking to anyone else. Sleep was hard for him, as it is to this day. He needed close physical contact or to be in motion.

Kathryn: My DD1 was born at dinner time, and we both slept soundly in a noisy ward soon after. Then it started - every time she was laid down so my blood pressure could be checked she screamed the place down. My BP was suddenly high so they kept checking it and trying to get a blood sample. When I was holding her I quickly realised she was happiest up on my shoulder looking around, so there she stayed (neck supported of course). That night she started bringing meconium back so it was an utter nightmare. The next day the midwives realised that if they took my BP when I was holding her it was a lot better, and the blood test didn't show any danger signs, so I took her home. She'd already communicated two things very plainly to me - don't put me down, and let me look around. Over the coming months she continued to control her environment with crying (only one cry, the "mummy save me" one), early smiling and pointing. She detested baths, she made incredibly strong eye contact, she hated to be out of arms (anyone would do until 13 months) and she never laid on the floor until she could sit. She failed to put more than 2oz a week on in spite of feeding lots, and the paediatrician, seeing her at 2 months babbling, fixing him with her gaze and waving her arms about, declared she was using all the calories she consumed for learning about her world rather than creating fat cells. Now I understand so much of her baby behaviour was seeking autonomy, and as an extension of her body I was part of that control. She was always determinedly non-routine. I myself am a naturally routine person, but she fed different times every day, napped different times, filled her nappies different times. She did wake and sleep within a 1 hour window though, albeit a late one (11ish to 9ish) with her longest night feed around 4ish until 15 months.

Kellee: My daughter was the perfect baby, however I worried she was sleeping too much as she never woke for feeds during the night. She was my first child and I took everything the HV said quite literally, so I was worried she wasn't having enough milk as she didn't feed during the night - I took her to the docs when she was 12 days old, the doctor laughed at me and told me to enjoy my sleep!!
She was a fussy eater when it came to weaning (very much still is!) everything plain/beige food. When she began to crawl she was very over cautious, even at soft play areas! Fussy with clothing, wouldn't wear jeans.
Very sensitive to noises - hoover, hair dryer, hand dryers, motorbikes!

Passive babies

Anonymous: To me she was just a normal baby, nothing really concerned me, very happy and didn't fuss a lot. She has symptoms of PDA now though, hates routine, interrupts us asking questions as demands, manipulative (we feel like we aren't allowed to do what we want to do without consequences), Jekyll and Hyde meltdowns, needs a constant supply of made up stories and role playing to help get stuff done, very creative.

Riko Ryuki: Nope, I didn’t notice any signs of PDA in my babies, not even slightly.
I've two PDA kids. I didn't learn about PDA until they were 9 and 2, but even if I had known I wouldn't have twigged because they didn't show any signs until age 2 (with middle child) and 5 (eldest). They were generally calm babies, quick to smile and play and reached all their milestones okay. My eldest was mostly fine, only the occasional outburst or refusal, until he started school, that's when things just got harder and harder. It was so obvious that he was masking outside the house, you could see the change as soon as we got outside the door, like a light switch had been flipped. Inside the house it was like all hell had broken loose, it was meltdown after meltdown, not helped by my lack of knowledge of PDA and so using the wrong strategies. With my middle child, he was stubborn and 'set in his ways' from a young age, around 2. Everything had to be a set way and if you didn't comply then he'd scream. I thought he was just stubborn for ages, but by the time he was 3 it was obvious that there was more to it than that, especially once his nursery pointed out things that just screamed PDA. From 3 onwards he was classic PDA.

Jazz Spree: My daughter was a happy baby, met her expected development milestones, slept and ate well. The only thing I can perhaps identify, with the benefit of hindsight, is that sometimes she would cry for no apparent reason, appear to be really cross or frustrated by our attempts to placate her (after checking the roll call of usual triggers, obviously). She would eventually wear herself out and sleep. She seemed to sleep for ages (relatively, compared to my friends' babies) but in reality she was happy in her own company playing with her feet!

Liz: I had no clue, but reading these comments is enlightening. My eldest PDAer was a very smiley baby, interested and engaged, very easy until it came to sleep. She was not up for sleeping alone, or for more than 2 hours at a time. Napping in the day didn't happen unless in a sling. But she would smile at strangers and watch intensely.My youngest, who is 5, is probably also a PDAer, but very different to her sister. She was very determined from the moment of her birth, you could almost feel her powerful personality. She rolled over at 3 months, crawled at 4 and walked at 8 months. She was utterly joyous as a baby, busy, determined, happy, giggling from 4 months. She breastfed constantly and wouldn't sleep unless I was holding her.

Philippa: By a couple of months old, our son was sleeping 7pm-10am and napping 12pm-2pm. It felt like I hardly saw him awake. He was difficult to wake up. When he was awake he was the most chilled baby. Hit all his milestones early. He didn’t seem to need anything until he started nursery at 18 months old. Then he changed overnight.

Maggie: My daughter was incredibly placid.... it was a shock to my system to be honest after having two very "high-needs" babies who must be stuck to you at ALL times. If I tried to interact with her when she wasn't interested, it was made very clear by turning her head away and refusing to engage at all, balling fists up, wriggling, fussing, until I laid her down and backed off a little, when she'd quickly appear much more content. On her terms, she was just as snuggly and loving as my other 2, and she did frequently seek out that closeness and affection, but ONLY on her terms. She was easily overstimulated as a baby, but very fascinated in just casually observing what was going on around her.
She slept well, I had to nurse her with as little physical contact as possible or she would be too grumpy to maintain her latch. She was colicky + was put on medication for silent reflux quite young (about 4mo I think). She reached her milestones well, but again - fiercely independent and wanted NO help that was offered to her, only when she made it known that your assistance was required.
She got upset if we celebrated her doing something cool - unsure whether it just overwhelmed her, no matter how quiet or calm the acknowledgement was. We say she came flying out of the womb incredibly headstrong, and that is a personality trait that has continued to blossom as she's grown too.
As she started to move about a bit, she often worked quietly "under the radar" while her more boisterous siblings would be taking centre-stage, and would saunter off herself to explore whatever caught her eye. From being newborn she was definitely very passive and preferring to observe rather than to be in the heart of whatever was going on. This continued as she reached toddler stages, and she never seemed to click that I was already wise to it, and so while I'd be engaged in conversation with her siblings I'd always have one eye on her too. She was always really shocked to find that I knew what she was upto, and still is now. Clearly thinks she's invisible.

Anonymous: Mine was super alert and super sensitive to other’s emotions. He was very easy going as a baby. When he hit 3 it all changed !!!!

How passive were they really?

Louise: I’m wondering about [the supposed PDA trait of] speech delay now. My son went from not speaking many words to talking in sentences, pretty much overnight, and it was clear that he understood a lot of what I said prior to that. Maybe he just didn’t feel the need to speak more when he was younger? I suppose you could call that a form of passivity?

Sally Cat: My daughter said words, and even a phrase, before she was one, but never repeated them again until she was way, way older (like three). My sense is that she chose not to speak

Louise: Maybe because they felt understood and looked after enough.

Sally Cat: My mum told me I could name all my colours by the time I was 9 months old. I can actually remember this (I have exceptionally clear early years memories). I was in rapture over the colours of plastic beads on a bar across my lap in my pushchair. They were so very, very beautiful to me. The colours glowed like gods or something. I struggled to pronounce their names (red, boo, geen, lello) because I loved them so very deeply.
My mum then set to enthusiastically teaching me obscure colour names (she's trained as an artist). My older brother enjoyed showing off the obscure colour names he could get. I felt unable to engage, like I just couldn't learn them. I muddled "vermillion" and veridian" in my head. I still cannot memorise obscure colour names even today as an adult who loves colour. I think my PDA avoidance is at play

Louise: I think that’s why I struggle defining passive. Because it’s not like our minds aren’t working a lot when we’re infants and very young children, and it’s not like we’re incapable of some pretty amazing things at times. Obviously there must be environmental factors at play as well.

Kay: I had this with the youngest the day after doing his EQA questionnaire about a month ago! He literally said about 5 words (all repetitive)he  had over an hour’s conversation to do this bleeding assessment thing and got up the next day, phoned my mum and he was all like hi nanny, how are you? What you do?! Little wotsit. I was too gobsmacked to actually make a fuss luckily and I've just carried on like it's normal because god forbid I show I'm excited about anything he does! He likes me scared

Trancing out

Sally Cat: When my daughter was a tiny baby she used to get extremely fixated on certain visuals (like beams of light shining through our thick bedroom curtains, and a colourful mobile we had hanging in the living room). We had to give her medicine for a neonatal condition, and she'd try and bat the oral syringe away from her mouth every time, and she was only a few weeks old.

Miranda Jacobs: I don't have children, but I've been told I was a "disappointing baby" by my mother. Apparently I didn't react if they made faces at me & jabbered away, but when they stopped I would cry. Also I really liked the wind - turning my pram into the wind would calm me, or if my mother ran down the slope to the underpass to get a good breeze going into my face!!

Jazz Spree: Miranda, my daughter absolutely loved the wind too, and I would stand for ages on the end of a pier with her in my arms, facing into the wind - it was almost like she was gulping it. She has also resented her sibling from the day she arrived and, on that very first day and ever since (ages are now 13 and 10) she will not go to bed "before the baby does" and other such controlling statements - and meant it.

Miranda Jacobs: Jazz, sounds so familiar!

Sally Cat: Funnily enough, my daughter loved the wind as a baby and toddler. well, she hated going outside for her first four months, and I had to keep her really bundled up with a scarf over the hood of her pram so she didn't scream her resistance as much. Then, by about 7 months, she started loving the wind... and hail.

Babies who weren’t so passive

Lucy Holt: Her first word, at about 6 or 7 months old, was ‘NO!’ It was cute at the time, but we should have realised what was to come! Her older siblings both said cat as their first word, followed by the usual mummy, daddy etc. She was definitely the most stubborn out of the three!

Kirstie McCrory: Pick me up, not like that, put me down, not like that, hold me, don't hold me, touch me, don't touch me, I want to sleep, no I don’t, yes I do, look at my food on the floor, pick it up for me, no I don’t want it , pick it up again, again, again.

Josie Louise Ward: With my youngest I was able to see PDA signs from very young as I already had experience with my older PDAer. When he was 7 months old, he would instantly get extremely angry if we ever took something away from him (playing with something he shouldn't have). He would throw himself back in a tantrum and scream and I remember being really surprised. Then continued the other signs like hating nappy changes, would fight getting into his car seat, push chair etc. I don't miss those days LOL.

Jessica Fox: After an initial few days of appearing detached and in his own world just staring at shadows and light on a wall my boy’s character became apparent. I called him a “high needs baby” because he needed all my attention at all times and screamed when I put him down. He wouldn’t sleep without being in physical contact with me (this continued until he was 4 years old.) The only time he would be put down was on his baby gym where he appeared to do a workout every morning hitting and kicking the dangling toys in what I called “the golden hour” because it was a short window where I could get things done. He was very physical, highly alert and very demanding. He knew what he wanted and was determined to move around and explore the space around him.
At 5 months he began crawling, backwards at first then forwards, and getting into everything and climbing furniture. He walked at 11 months with no toddling or falling over, he just went from pulling himself up on the sofa to walking confidently across the entire room like he’d been doing it forever. I knew he was different to other babies very early on, at baby groups he didn’t sit contently and play he explored with a sense of urgency and found different uses for toys than the other babies did often using them contrary to rules or social expectations e.g. climbing into water trays or moving toys from one area to another.
I caught him practicing facial expressions, happy and sad, in front of a mirror when he was about 18 months old and thought at the time that the ease at which he did so looked possibly manipulative or at the very least performative, like he had worked out a way to get what he wanted. He knew what was being said to him from a very young age and was very strong willed and communicated his own autonomy despite not progressing beyond linking two words together until he was two and a half. At that age he began speaking in full sentences with amazing vocabulary, inflection and over-exaggeration, like he was performing in a play and needed to enunciate properly to capture the audience’s attention.

Maggie: Oh! Daughter did also really NOT like me sleeping!
Would wake up, sing like a little Gremlin and stare into my soul from her crib/the bed next to me (depending on whether she was bed-sharing with me that night or not) and just....high pitched cooing noises until I woke up. kicking her little legs and flailing her arms around ... as she got a tiny bit older she'd poke my face repeatedly and pull at my ears and hair and stuff too.... and these high pitched noises that went right through me.... til I woke.. brief interaction with her...then she'd turn her face away and go to sleep!! Just like that

Demand avoidance and freedom need

Alana Neimanis: I thought my son couldn’t sit up by the age of 8 months old and was so worried until I realised while leaving him alone in his cot and watching from the door semi-closed that he could perfectly sit up he would just not do it in command! When I thought he wasn’t hitting a milestone he was plain refusing to sit up every single time he was asked, it now makes me laugh when I reflect on those years like what would drive him to refuse sitting up oh cheeky monkey it was so rooted in him of course pda makes a lot of sense now.

Kay: Yup, hated getting dressed if asked but was happy to play with clothes, refused to walk if enticed but would of his own accord, wouldn't get in a buggy but wouldn't stay out of it.

Struggled to breastfeed him but would grab for boob all the time.

Would spit his dummy out if given to him then put it in himself.
Would scream about the lights being on but would cry if I turned them off (once he could do switches he was fine)

Loved doing art but if I got it out he would cry lots, wouldn't take finger foods offered but would take the same thing off of others plates.
This is all the same for my youngest also, only me and the youngest have this huge issue with using my boob as his comforter, if he shoves his hand down my top without me noticing its fine but if he asks I get super tense but if I offer it he will refuse and smack me but then lean in and take it 5 minutes later.

If I say don't climb, they will or would climb.

Won't eat at a table with everyone else if it is stated it is food time but if food is just left he will eat it at his own discretion.....
The list is endless

Sally Cat: As a little baby, my daughter was determined to get her feet out from under her pram cover. She was so pleased with herself when she finally succeeded! She also refused to wear hats and mittens etc.

Adira Restless: I mentioned my PDA son above, but just thought of a good example for my PDA daughter. No one's ever been able to get her to do anything she didn't want to do. She started child care at one and I very quickly got comments like "she's very stubborn, isn't she?" She has also always refused to wave or say hello or goodbye to people - instead turning her head away in a huff. As a baby her favourite word was "No". Now at 3 her favourite thing to say is "I'll just do whatever I want to do"

People focus

Anonymous: I was so used to looking after sensitive babies having one of my own seemed the norm. She was a right Velcro baby. Very interactive to a degree she would command communication at all times. Loved people and not shy. Very smiley happy baby, if her needs were met. I was on my own a lot as Dad was in the services. Comfort breastfeeding was common. Preferred a long feed at night as during the day she’d stop and start. I realised I’d never be one of these out and about mums shopping as public breastfeeding was a bit too public as she was so nosey she’d stop and leave me exposed. Long walks in the baby carrier so she’d sleep during the day.
As she grew older she became more reserved with people apart from close family and chosen friends. Refused to speak to nursery staff so environmentally mute. Despite being in crèche before and a very popular playful baby.

The older and more aware and less in her home environment the more demand avoidant she became. Refusing to get dressed etc she was fine with hair washing etc then suddenly her sensory issues came on strong. Anxiety increase was the root cause. Separation anxiety from her constant me was very obvious to everyone . Her Dad was in and out of her home life till she was 13. She missed him dreadfully from a young age. When he did become a civvy. She missed when it was just her and I for periods. She was more controlling over me when Dad was away and demanded more.

Sally Cat: We regularly travelled on a branch line train, and she used to love being held up in the air and getting gushing attention from fellow passengers. One day, however, the carriage was deserted apart from a group of four young people sitting at a table seat immediately across the aisle from us. She kept leaning towards them expecting attention, but they failed to notice her at all. She became incredibly upset and angry and it was very hard to distract her and calm her down.

Anonymous: From very young my second baby knew exactly what she wanted. From about 4 months she'd be in your arms and suddenly lunge her whole body away, so that she'd fall unless you moved to catch her. This was her way of driving the human that held her to get where she wanted. She'd also turn our faces to make us look at her. Under 6 months old she'd know where anything was that I'd lost, which is an indication of how hyper-aware she was of her environment. From my arms she'd lean her whole body to where the item was and steer me there. She never slept for more than 20 minutes in the day. It felt like that was the most she could allow herself away from watching everything. Later, when she could talk, whenever she woke she'd deny she'd been asleep at all, which I now recognise was to do with needing to be in control, and how being asleep is so out of control. Weaning was all on her terms. She started grabbing food out of my hand or off my plate from 4 months, but refused to eat any prepared baby food when offered at 6 months. She wouldn't engage with weaning at all until 8 months, at which point she went straight to having a full plate of whatever everyone else was eating.

Miranda Jacobs: I don't remember this but I've been told I would stand in my cot & rock it forwards & backwards, so the feet banged on the floor & shout "Susan-Mummy, come into the rooooooom!" until she did!
Also I have a strong memory of the light coming through my bedroom curtains & making patterns on the wall. I would have been no older than 3. I remember hating that I was having a baby sibling when I was told. I was 2 1/2 when my brother was born & I resented him until he was about 30!!


Mandarin Snap: My daughter was really jumpy as a baby, she would jump even when someone walked past her. Wouldn't let me leave her side for the first 6 months and always had extreme reactions of fear to animals and I have a toy dog that sings and wiggles which she was terrified of. She has always reacted badly to being told off, even gently to the point where she can't breathe properly.

Sally Cat: When my baby was just just a month or two old, she had episodes of seeming completely terrified of something neither myself nor her dad could identify. We could best describe it as her seeing scary ghosts. It was very peculiar and disturbing!
When she was a bit older, if we took her into a baby change room with a big mirror mounted over the changing ledge and she saw our reflections in it, she would panic hysterically. She would be absolutely terrified! I learnt to place my satchel between her and the mirror so she couldn’t see it.


Florence Castle: my PDAer has an older ADD brother, so I had another baby experience to compare to. They each had their own "settings and preferences" ... not gonna use the word 'normal', cause, we don't think that's a thing in our house. My PDAer was more restless - seemed to have more energy in her body, took longer to fall asleep, and generally slept less. My ADDer fell asleep in 5 minutes, and did not drop his nap until he was nearly 3. my PDAer took longer to settle even when it was a regular sleep time and she was tired. She dropped her last nap much earlier at 18 months. my PDAer also liked less touch. I'm an attached parent, the product of attached parenting, and my instinct is always cuddle, hold, hug...especially when in distress. While MissPDA does enjoy a good cuddle and to this day will come to me for them, I generally noticed when she was a wee one that she liked less of that than her brother had... luckily the instinct to hug also comes with an instinct to notice when when it's not wanted, so I would always ease back and let her dictate. to be clear she did like contact, she didn't avoid it completely, just liked less... and more 'being next to' versus 'full hug'...

Feeding issues

Dany: Yes. Breastfeeding totally on her terms- at one stage would only feed if I lay down. Wouldn't feed if I needed her to. Wouldn't eat solids/ purees until literally starving at 11months as I was pregnant and milk reduced. Only would sleep in PITCH black. Had to have movement in a sling to go to sleep. Refused buggy. I put it down to her being a highly sensitive child. She was happy though.

James McGee: yes. very, very clingy, overly sensitive to surroundings and my mood, and my boys at least avoided the demands of being fed any time it wasn't wholly in their control. yet, when we were in public, at least from 6 months on a complete 180 from their temperament at home.

Anonymous: My daughter never slept during the expected times and always needed contact and movement to feel secure. We had real issues with feeding and ended up on a lactose-free milk for a while but she's okay with milk now, so not sure what it was really. She wasn't fussy with solids, and happy to try new things. She's always hated being away from me in particular and the return of any absence from 18m or so up was met with either complete indifference like I wasn't there, or a few good hits and the odd bite before having a big cuddle. She was always a bitey child
I posted a video on my profile a couple of days ago of when she was about 2 1/2 and my son was about 6 months and in his swinging chair (which she would climb in as much as possible and refuse to get out for him). She's leaning over looking at him and being nice, I asked her if she loves him.. NO! I ask again..NO! But she leans over and kisses his head with a grin. Sassy from day one

The Impact of Co-occurring Conditions

Rachel Sylvania :  My son was a very passive baby but, he had the added extra of being born with a cleft palate and thus, severe glue ear which made him effectively deaf until he had grommets fitted at age one.

He certainly didn't cry a lot unless food was involved.

One thing, looking back, that he has always had though is a sense of urgency. This became especially apparent at preschool age but thinking to his first 18 months even then he was sort of urgent. Lol

Anonymous: My son was a screamer he slept and refused his first feed for over 24 hrs after birth but then he refused to sleep for like 11 years and screamed a lot, However was it PDA, sensory, ADHD, pain from his EDS, I don't know.

Anonymous: Hard to say if there were signs of PDA because also ADHD signs were present.

Did not want to leave a place he was not ready to leave (park, playing with other kids), I usually waited for the other parent to take their kids first. Car seats.....a nightmare!!! So many toys and mobiles to entertain all the time. But he did not want to go in.
Constantly needed attention and new toys. Needed new stimuli. I would pick up a toy from the store, let him play with it while I shopped and put it back when we were done and he was all good. Never ever ran out of energy. Ever.
Delayed sleep phase as well. He was a hard baby looking back, but he was my first so I had nothing to compare it to. I just kept thinking "how do people have more than one kid!!!!" Most signs of PDA were not present until school years.

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