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What to Do When Your PDA Child Is Refusing to Do Any Learning at Home



Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that can make it difficult for children to comply with requests or demands. This can make home educating a challenge, especially when children are refusing to do any learning at home.

Here are a few tips on how to handle this situation:

  1. Try to understand why your child is refusing. There could be a number of reasons why your PDA child is refusing to do anything. They might be feeling overwhelmed, bored, or frustrated. They might also be struggling with the demands of home educating.

  2. Talk to your child about their feelings. Once you understand why your child is refusing, talk to them about their feelings. Let them know that you understand how they're feeling and that you're there to help.

  3. Make a plan together. Once you've talked to your child, work together to make a plan. This plan should be something that both of you can agree on. It might involve breaking down tasks into smaller steps, providing more choices, or taking breaks when needed.

  4. Be patient. It may take some time for your PDA child to adjust to the new plan. Be patient and understanding, and don't give up.

Here are some additional tips that may be helpful for PDA children:

  • Use positive reinforcement. When your child does complete a task, be sure to praise them and give them a reward. This will help them to associate learning with positive experiences.

  • Avoid power struggles. PDA children often thrive on control, so it's important to avoid power struggles. Instead, try to negotiate with your child and find solutions that work for both of you.

  • Be flexible. PDA children can be unpredictable, so it's important to be flexible with your plans. If your child is having a bad day, it might be best to take a break from learning and do something else.

Remember, it is important to be patient and understanding when your PDA child is refusing to do anything. With time and effort, you can help them overcome this challenge.


It can be difficult to deal with your child's refusal to do anything. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many other parents who are facing similar challenges. There are also many resources available to help you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it might be helpful to reach out to a support group or connect with other parents who are home educating children with PDA.

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