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PDA with Casey Ehrlich


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“In terms of equality, if my son perceives himself below anything, he’s going to have a stress response, like a lion’s in front of him.”

Casey Ehrlich

This is episode 83 and today I’m here with Casey Ehrlich talking about PDA. 


Casey Ehrlich, Ph.D. is a coach to parents raising PDA Autistic children and is the co-founder of the PDA Parents community and podcast. Her background is in social science and methodology and she holds a doctorate degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Casey has conducted original research on conflict, peace, and non-violence in areas impacted by civil war in Colombia, and she brings those insights to her work with families raising children with hyper-sensitive nervous systems, fight, flight, and freeze behaviors, and trauma. Her coaching practice is At Peace Parents, LLC.


PDA: We explain what Pathological Demand Avoidance or Persistent Drive for Autonomy is, what’s happening inside these kids, and what it looks like on the outside.

Story: She walks us through her personal journey with raising a PDA child.

Parenting: We discuss what style of parenting best supports a PDA child and their family’s functioning and wellbeing.

Accommodations: We go over what accommodations we have seen as helpful for PDA kids.

Disability: We speak to the distinction between reducing accommodation to reduce anxiety and embracing accommodation to support nervous system disability.

Support: We share what kinds of support can be helpful for families struggling with PDA.

Fears: We address some big fears that create resistance to acceptance of PDA.

Help with pda

On this parenting journey, especially raising a neurodivergent child with a higher level of need or intensity, it is essential to be in connection with other parents who see you, who get it, who can be there for you to cheer on your successful moment of implementing personal growth or troubleshoot your hard moment so you have a better idea for next time. The Sage Family Village is that space for me and it can be that space for you too. Join us right here.

Dive Deeper

Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe will add value for you, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Casey on IG @atpeaceparents

Casey on TikTok

Casey’s website

At Peace Parents Podcast

The Declarative Language Handbook

PDA North America

Brain-Body Parenting

Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

The Body Keeps the Score

The Explosive Child

Sage Family Podcast 25: Collaboration with Ross Greene

Kristy Forbes

PDA by PDAers

The PDA Paradox


Tilt Parenting Podcast

Sage Family Podcast 19: Neurodiversity with Debbie Reber

The Whole-Brain Child

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I work from an island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live wild and free in connection with my hilarious husband and three growing sailors in our fixer upper on the beach. I authentically live this healing work out loud raising my own neurodivergent family (inner child included) and draw on my decades of education and experience (I've done all the nerdy work so you don't have to) to guide a revolution of overwhelmed parents just like you to feeling at peace within yourself, consciously connected with your children, embraced by a supportive community, and enjoying a values-aligned life you love.

Gentle parenting, natural homeschooling, & simple living mentor

I'm Rachel Rainbolt

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