Trails Carolina Blog

PDA vs ODD: Decoding the Behavioral Differences

The child standing with their back toward the parent in defiance. PDA vs ODD
As a parent, watching your child avoid simple tasks, refuse to follow rules, or openly defy authority figures can be heart-wrenching. You may be asking yourself, “Why is my child behaving this way? What can I do to help? Is this normal?” These are understandable concerns. Navigating the complexities of your child’s defiant and avoidant…
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Personalized Learning for Unique Minds: Wilderness Therapy for Students with Learning Disabilities

Student with long hair sits behind laptop with arms raised in celebration.
At Trails Carolina, we believe in the power of embracing unique minds and providing personalized learning experiences through our wilderness therapy programs. We understand that every child is different and that their academic challenges can be a result of a combination of factors including a learning disability, mental health or behavioral conditions, as well as…
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Managing A PDA Meltdown: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Managing A PDA Meltdown: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
For parents of children with autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), navigating the demands of daily life can present an extra layer of complexity. PDA is a pattern of demand-avoidant behaviors and anxiety-driven resistance to everyday demands, tasks, and expectations often co-occurring in children and teens with an autism spectrum disorder. When the anxiety that…
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Reconnecting in Nature: Family Conflict Resolution through Wilderness Therapy

Family conflict resolution. Parent and child sit on a couch in distress.
Family conflicts can be challenging to navigate, leaving both parents and children feeling emotionally distressed and disconnected. However, there is hope for healing and building stronger family relationships.  Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy offers a unique approach that not only focuses on helping the child but also empowers parents to develop essential skills for fostering healthier…
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Treating PDA in Teenagers: Strategies for Success

Teen sits with hands covering face in black and white. PDA in teenagers, teen anxiety, and teen depression.
Raising a teenager with autism, especially one who struggles with PDA symptoms, brings forth unique experiences and obstacles. At Trails Carolina, we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with numerous families who share similar experiences, all facing the intricate path of supporting their teen with Pathological Demand Avoidance, and we are here to support you. We…
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‘My Teenager is Failing School and Doesn’t Care’: Wilderness Therapy Boosts Academic Success

Student standing in a library. Wilderness therapy for personalized learning, supporting students with learning disabilities.
A student’s academic journey can sometimes hit roadblocks as they contend with various pressures that impede their success, from struggling to maintain good grades or motivation to navigating possible learning disabilities. For concerned parents who often find themselves saying, “my teenager is failing school and doesn’t care,” an alternative approach in the form of wilderness…
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Pathological Demand Avoidance in Children: Early Intervention Strategies

Pathological demand avoidance in children: Young boy's face in black and white, looking up.
Many children exhibit contrary behaviors when they’re young, such as resisting ordinary demands or outright refusing to do what is asked of them by their parents, teachers, or other authority figures. On some level, this defiance is common and even expected in adolescents. At a young age, their brains are still developing, which can make…
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A New Beginning: Wilderness-Based Adoption Therapy for Kids and Families

Son, mom, and dad are holding hands and walking outside.
Navigating the teenage years can be a challenging experience for anyone, but for youth and teens dealing with complex emotions rooted in adoption, the path to adulthood can be even more difficult. Understanding the unique obstacles faced by adopted adolescents is essential for helping them cope and grow through this critical period in their lives.…
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Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance: Unraveling Co-Occurring Disorders

Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance, Sleep Deprivation in Teens, Boy wearing a white hoodie sits in class with his head on the desk.
Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance are often co-occurring diagnoses. An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that affects communication, socialization, and behavior. It is characterized by a range of symptoms, which can manifest differently in each individual. Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) is a term used to describe a pervasive developmental disorder…
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Managing Pathological Demand Avoidance Symptoms with the PANDA Approach and Gradual Demand Integration

Boy smiling in the woods and learning to manage pathological demand avoidance symptoms.
Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a behavior profile characterized by an individual’s extreme avoidance of ordinary demands. It is often diagnosed on a co-occurring basis with an autism diagnosis and is often associated with anxiety and defiant behaviors. While Pathological Demand Avoidance is not yet recognized as a standalone diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical…
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