Titanic Key Interests

I find it quite ironic that the latest key interest my PDA child has embarked on is the Titanic.

And through her fascination, or obsession for want of a better word, she has led me on a journey of adventure and discovery. I learn when she learns. I read when she chooses to listen and I absorb info from her senses. From facts, to quotes, to role play … we live and breathe all things Titanic.

Which has led me to this titan quote:

“From the very day that she was designed she was almost doomed.”

Titanic, according to the Captain of the rescue ship Carpathia, had an Achilles heel – just like my disadvantaged child. The use of iron rivets was the downfall in the ship’s design and a potential reason behind why the ‘unsinkable’ ship met its unfortunate fate.

There are misfortunes in my child’s hard wiring that disables her trust in the world, which leads her to exhibit unwanted behaviours.  She is gaining self-awareness daily and she is on a passage of discovery that maybe she just wasn’t designed to float.

But she has special qualities that may make her unsinkable.  I’m certain of that.

She is an individual and that I celebrate.  She has logical thinking power that far outweighs her difficulties.

Like when I took her to an exhibition at a museum on the Titanic.  We made her close her eyes until we reached the model of the boat…open your eyes…taa daa!!  

And do you know her response?

“Wait! I have to check the number of lifeboats first!”

So she proceeded to circle the model, counting to ensure they had the right amount of lifeboats.

Yep…it’s the Titanic!”

I think she went off on a tangent then, rambling about which boat Rose went in till she jumped out and how much Jack loved her to save her life.  Then she got all coy and started giggling saying how much she loved Jack.

I know that eyebrows will be raised, many other parents wouldn’t let their child watch this kind of film, especially at six years old.  But then they don’t have a child like mine and my guess is that their child would have no desire to sit through three hours of this.  And for my daughter it was an obsession till she got to watch it. A need, a curious desire that needing filling.  She had to watch it and it was one of the battles I chose not to have.

So they are my reasons and my ruling as a PDA parent, sometimes controversial, but a way of surviving and growing.

Which was fine, until she told me recently…”mum you know I saw Rose’s boobies! Daddy didn’t fast forward it like you do!”

It was my fault of course, for not instructing him otherwise.

She has been following a tutorial on YouTube since, pausing every few seconds, whilst she puts all her passion into drawing a portrait of the ship.  Her artistic flair knows no boundaries – maybe that’s why she connects with our hero Mr Dawson. I’m relieved she wants to draw a boat and not a naked specimen!

Key interests are titanic in our household – they are utilised to make sense of what seems to be a very confusing world.

I consider my PDA’er as a Titan in every sense of the word.  Her disability is definitely titanic in magnitude, but her capabilities equally outnumber her failures.

Now, it’s just about finding a school who wants to help her find those hidden depths. She may feel like a third class passenger right now, she’s been excluded and rejected throughout her school life, I just prey for the day when her trust can be put into the adults around her.

For when she will learn to float once more.


  1. Rebekah Ranger

    I’m always amazed at how PDA kids seem to follow the same interests and say and do the same things . my 7yr old this week has become very interested in the titanic…never watched the film though . we had to build then sink a model.

    1. pdaparenting

      Hi Rebekah thank you for commenting- my apologies for the delay as we were away. It is so strange that so many like the same interests, they often say and do the same things. I hope to have more contact in the future xxx

  2. A mummy on a mission

    Oh my our little man went through this obsession 2 years ago! We live in Northern Ireland and had to take him to the titanic exhibition several times! I am still convinced he has PDA and not just pervasive developmental disorder. But trying to get an assessment is impossible! I have just wrote a blog about how is mimicking another child in school so he can fit it is effecting him. Please have a read and see if any of it rings a bell with you? Xx

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