Autistic with a side of PDA

PSA: If you’re a teacher and know one of your parents is autistic, don’t put them on the spot with these last minute bombs. Because that’s how it feels to us, like we just got hit with an unexpected bombshell. Some of us react badly. We come across as angry, and that’s if we don’t just stare blankly at you or turn around and walk away without a word. 

We need time to process. I specifically have it in my daughter’s IEP that her teachers are to email me at least once per week if there’s anything I need to know about my daughter and schoolwork. She’s had some missing assignments that led up to her being bombarded by last minute catch-up work. It’s overwhelming for her and me both. I refuse to have her or myself placed in those situations again. 

I no longer give ANY ground when it comes to this. And today, the poor unfortunate soul caught this in her face (verbally) when she brought up more missing assignments. I laid into her about why she’s waiting until ONE WEEK before the deadline to tell me about this when she’s had 9 WEEKS prior to do so. 

It triggers an adrenaline spike which puts me in fight or flight mode and I always end up in fight. I HAVE to have those emails, and not just at the last minute, either. This serves multiple purposes. It lays down a paper trail, and if it isn’t written down it didn’t happen. It also gives me time to process and think of a more appropriate, somewhat less volatile response. 

There is no “oh, while I’ve got you here….” You will regret it, 98.5% of the time. I certainly regret it, because I don’t actually like having that stressed out reaction, and the minor crash that follows leaves me mentally unable to cope for a good while afterwards. So do us both a favor, and just don’t. 

(P.S. I don’t know if I’m PDA or not, but given my history, and what I’ve been learning of it, there’s a distinct possibility I may be…but it sounded good and so there it is)


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