The Female Species

“Frankenstein and Dracula have nothing on you, Jekyll and Hyde join the back of the queue, The female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

These lyrics have just come to mind having watched my daughter home in on her prey.

We were at the park and she saw another child, a boy, that she became transfixed upon.

She does this a lot and one of the features of PDA is that she has obsessive compulsions on people, rather than objects.

At school it is proving challenging as she has become obsessed with a member of staff that has a different role to do within the class.

The educational handling of a child with PDA is often the hardest aspect; something this school is making more than enough reasonable adjustments for.

It may be something that we have to ride out until she has absorbed enough from her obsession.

The compulsions are often dropped quite quickly, but that doesn’t make it any easier for anyone involved.

Safety will always be the overriding factor in managing the situation.

At the park she spent about thirty minutes following the boy around, who was about two years her junior, copying his every move.

I felt a bit embarrassed but tried to alter my focus lens, after all, nobody was getting hurt. In fact, no-one had even noticed but me.

This mirroring of behaviours is simply a form of social learning – something that I can see improving after nine full days at school!

She even won a principal’s award for her achievements in Maths this week.

Her lovely, loyal friend collected it for her in assembly – he is a boy who has gained her trust already at this school and I think the feeling has been mutual.

So at the park she finally plucked up the courage to talk to her chosen target.

“Do you want to be my friend? I’m in year three.”

My daughter is improving day by day from being at school, albeit mostly in a social rather than academic way.

Our children need the chance to learn from their peers.

I’m grateful we have a chance to do this in a school making the effort to achieve this.

We still don’t know if this placement will be a success, but we will give it our best shot together! 🙌


  1. maryrosesmyth

    So interesting. I love that you’re letting go and letting her experience freedom and natural learning by her peers (in so much as safety permits) and that social is primary. I’m curious about the idea you mention about “…until she has absorbed enough from her obsession.” Is that what my son is doing? Can you give me a little more explanation on that? Thank you!

      1. Maryrose Smyth

        And here I am returning your reply 2years later!!!! Lol!! Life is too rich on laughs some days and too poor others. I’m grateful to be on journey with you and finding the balance!

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