Dr Gloria Dura-Vila MD, MRCPsych, MSc, PhD
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Autism and PDA Specialist
Private Autism (ASD) and PDA assessments and consultations
for all ages: early years, children, adolescents and adults
*Private Autism (ASD) assessments for early years *Private Autism assessments for children
*Private Autism assessments for adolescents *Private Autism assessments for adults
*Private PDA assessments for children *Private PDA assessments for adolescents *Private PDA assessments for adults
"A Fantastic Book"
“A fantastic book. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this with my son… a unique way to teach children about their own diagnosis, in simple text… highly recommend it.”
“Absolutely brilliant. My 5-year-old just got diagnosed with ASD and this book has been perfect in helping him to understand himself…. It's given us and him the language and opportunity to talk about it.”
“The Best Book for Children”
“The best book for children on the spectrum.”
“Comfort and Understanding”
“My daughter was very worried…but with this book, she has found comfort and… understanding.”
“This makes a change - the autistic child gets to fill bits in about their own, individual autism, as well as finding out about the condition in general. This has the *extremely* useful potential for handing to ‘stupid grown-ups’ so that the ‘stupid grown-ups’ can be a bit less stupid... I also liked the instructions for parents that this book should be filled in when a) there are few to no distractions, and b) when the child is receptive to the task. Finally! Someone understands the twin needs. It’s also good that we don’t get the ‘triad of impairments’: this is just so symptomatic of neurotypicals objecting that we’re not like them. This book concentrates far more on *what is important to the autistic*: sensory stuff, routines and special interests; a ‘triad of needs’ if you will.”
“A Valuable Guide”
“A valuable guide, long missing in the autism-related bibliography.”
“I Wish This Had Been Available Previously”
“I have spent my entire career in inclusive learning environments and wish this had been available previously.”
“Order this Book and Put It to Good Use”
“I would urge all primary and secondary schools to order a copy of this book and put it immediately to good use.”
"I sincerely wish that this book had been available when myself and my daughter first began navigating this most complex of journeys"
A golden nugget for the PDA library. Insightful, helpful, encouraging, hopeful and compassionate from beginning to end! Realising that your child may have, or has recently been diagnosed with, ASD with a profile of PDA can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for many parents. But, help is now at hand in the form of this refreshing and unique addition to the current range of PDA literature. I sincerely wish that this book had been available when myself and my daughter first began navigating this most complex of journeys and I can't recommend it highly enough to those who are now beginning, or struggling in theirs. Jane Sherwin, author of 'Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome: My Daughter is not Naughty'
"Support your child to gain insight in a non-judgmental way"
I think that one of the best ways to help your PDA child is to support them to gain insight in a non-judgmental and open way. Helping them communicate this to you helps them feel understood and then empowers you as their advocate. It also helps you as the parent see all those truly wonderful positives about your PDA child. This book provides a wonderful framework for doing that. Cassandra Davies, parent of a young person with PDA and member of PDA Action Group Somerset and PDA, Pathological Demand Avoidance Support – Families & Practitioners UK
"I cannot recommend it highly enough"
It is a sensitive book based on an excellent understanding of PDA, which is probably the hardest form of Autism, and so exhausting for the children, young people and families that it affects. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
"This book puts the young person with PDA in the driving seat"
This book is a very valuable addition to the PDA library. Part self-help guide, part gentle workbook, it's presented in a really positive, accessible style which most importantly puts the young person with PDA in the driving seat.
"Invaluable resource to anyone looking to support a child in developing his or her self-awareness"
This publication provides a starting point for a conversation with the child about their form of autism and how it is part of their unique personality and profile. The accessible and informative style will provide an invaluable resource to anyone looking to support a child in developing his or her self-awareness.
"A must for anyone living with, or supporting a young person with PDA" (including professionals)
Young person with PDA - Surprisingly easy and fun to do. Not much pressure from the book. Really well written and explained. A lot of the information and explanations matched my ideas of PDA and how it affects me. The boxes made it easy for me to express how my PDA affects me. I already understand my PDA very well, but I think this book would really help those who don't yet understand their PDA very well. It is also extremely helpful to show this book to someone else for them to understand me better. Parent - Me and My PDA contains everything needed for the young person and their support team to begin developing a robust 'individually tailored' framework of strategies. With beautiful illustrations and carefully worded text, which share the experiences of other young people - accompanied by further suggestions and ideas for contemplation, the young person can feel safe to explore their own difficulties, confusions, worries and fears. The book provides a warm, inviting and non judgemental space where the young person is invited to share key information about themselves via the easy to follow worksheets. In a nutshell, this book may just be the golden ticket in facilitating the young person to support us, so that we can better support them.
"Five star product"
Beautiful book explaining to the child with pda about the condition with lovely pictures and almost like a passport book of the child's needs, likes and dislikes for people who care for the child to read and know about the child.
"Very PDA friendly and a real eye-opener"
So cleverly written. My little PDA-er was intrigued and wanted to get started straight away.
A delightful and positive book with great clinical utility. I love the illustrations and how client centred the book is. I would definitely recommend this to families, young people and professionals alike!
"Beautiful pictures and very helpful for getting some understanding of PDA & autism!"
Lovely to see a book written with the young person's perspective in mind. It has a positive tone where so many books on this subject can feel negative. Illustrations were beautiful and we loved the doodle pages!
Amazing. Written from a position of knowledge and authority but yet also accessible to all. Helpful for clinicians, parents, teachers and children/you people. Extremely helpful in my clinical practice. Dr. DMac. Child Psychologist.
"How can something so simple be so brilliant?"
How can something so simple be so brilliant? For years, one way to describe the diagnosis of Autism was to liken it to a bagful of strengths and challenges. Each person reaches into the bag and grabs a handful that are unique to themselves. Gloria Dura Vila has created such a 'bag'. Her insightful cards, beautifully and sensitively illustrated by Rebecca Tatternorth, make diagnosing and understanding the uniqueness of Autism a pleasure.
"Gloria has created a truly wonderful resource which will support so many practitioners and parents"
“Gloria has created a truly wonderful resource which will support so many practitioners and parents as they introduce Autism to autistic young people and others. The strategies and approaches outlined in the accompanying booklet, presented with Gloria's humour and passion, ensure that young people are supported to understand and value themselves as an individual. I can't wait to use these cards with my students.”
"This is a wonderful resource that will ultimately be of huge benefit to children and young people"
“No more nerves and clumsy conversations. The Amazing Autistic Brain Cards are a must-have resource for anyone involved in sharing and discussing an Autism spectrum diagnosis with children and young people. Rather than giving a one-size-fits-all description of Autism, I love that these beautifully simple cards can be used to tailor-make a portrait of Autism that suits the child and celebrates their individuality. Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà leads the way by reflecting on her extensive experience as a clinician, offering insight and guidance that I am certain will empower and equip parents and practitioners alike with the confidence to have positive conversations with children about their Autism. I especially like that the cards can be adapted and revisited over time to accompany a child's own developing sense of self. This is a wonderful resource that will ultimately be of huge benefit to children and young people as they learn about themselves and what it means to be autistic...and amazing.”
"fabulous hands-on way for young people to build self-awareness,"
“In addition to being an invaluable tool for professionals, Gloria's wonderfully empowering cards are a fabulous hands-on way for young people to build self-awareness, facilitate discussion and enable self-advocacy, creating a balanced and unique 'this is me' profile for themselves and others.”
"Gloria has found a very practical and effective way to explain strengths and challenges"
“Gloria has found a very practical and effective way to explain strengths and challenges to a population of young people when diagnosed with Autism. Using her humour and passion she touches all the key points so vital for young people and their parents, not only to understand, but also empower themselves in life choices. Brilliant!”
"It is exciting to have such a simple and effective tool"
“These cards have the potential to fundamentally change the experience of talking and learning about Autism and neurodiversity for the better. It is exciting to have such a simple and effective tool which could transform discussions at the critical point of diagnosis. They will be equally useful for any broader explorations in different settings and for lots of different purposes. Genius!”
“Wow. What can I say?! Just perfect"
“Wow. What can I say?! Just perfect. Absolutely spot on! My 7 year old was nodding along as we read this book which really helped me see how he felt and what his struggles were. I've passed it around the family to also help them understand him more. The pictures are beautiful. My son feels proud to be a panda now and wants a teddy one! Thank you so much for writing this book. I didn't know we needed it so much until we got it.”
"I look forward to sharing it with my students.”
“This book is a wonderful introduction to PDA for children and young people. Full of positivity about pandas' strengths and honesty about the challenges, it is a brilliant resource for opening up conversations with a PDAer about what PDA means to them. I look forward to sharing it with my students.”
"Dr Durà-Vilà's wealth of PDA experience and expertise shines through in this beautiful, affirming book."
“Dr Durà-Vilà's wealth of PDA experience and expertise shines through in this beautiful, affirming book. Rebecca's charming illustrations bring the PDA panda ambassador to life as it guides young PDAers in understanding their profile of Autism and how they can best be supported. With colourful heartfelt drawings from PDA children there's so much to like about this book, I would highly recommend [it] to any family starting their PDA journey.”
"highly recommended as a great starting point to introduce PDA to a young audience."
“This beautifully illustrated, friendly book invites the PDA child to join their tribe using the masterful tool of a de-personalised panda (who co-authors the book and openly involves the child on every page). The information is presented creatively and communicated in a non-demanding style; perfect for a PDA reader. Dr Glòria has managed to create a resource that will inspire many children to be their authentic self and is highly recommended as a great starting point to introduce PDA to a young audience.”
"I would highly recommend this book for any parent living with a PDA child"
“The Panda on PDA is a sensitively written and beautifully illustrated book which explains PDA in a way that younger children will easily understand. There is a lovely balance between the challenges these young people face and the positive characteristics many of them display when well-understood and supported. I would highly recommend this book for any parent living with a PDA child, or professional supporting one.”
"A delightful book with beautiful illustrations"
“A delightful book with beautiful illustrations that will appeal to younger readers. It presents a charming, positive character who explains PDA and supports adults in conversations with young children to offer them a better understanding of their own unique profile.”
"This book will be beneficial to children with PDA"
“This beautifully illustrated book will help children with PDA to understand their amazing, unique brains and their feelings and emotions in a wonderfully positive and relatable way. PDA is described in a way that is helpful, clear and child friendly. This book will be beneficial to children with PDA, their siblings, peers, parents and wider family. I love the fact that children can personalise their books too!”
"This beautifully illustrated book introduces PDA (some strengths, difficulties and things that might help),"
“This beautifully illustrated book introduces PDA (some strengths, difficulties and things that might help), through the eyes and lives of Pandas (bears with a particular style of Autism). It is aimed to be read with younger children and has lots of interactive elements and opportunities to personalise the content. It's an excellent resource to introduce children in a positive way to some complex ideas and will be as helpful to the adult reading it with them as it will to the child him or herself!
"A colourful and charming book that is full of self-awareness messages for children of all ages"
“A colourful and charming book that is full of self-awareness messages for children of all ages. Creatively written so that the child can see their own traits and differences through the medium of Pandas!!! Useful for a child starting on their journey of self-discovery that does encourages the child to look within themselves. I'm sure that they will keep returning to it over time to just check in and support themselves by using the positive language and scenarios to see that the differences that society may see in them are perfectly normal.”
"Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà has provided an exceptionally helpful guidebook"
“This is a truly ground-breaking publication. By bringing together insights from psychiatry and spirituality Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà has provided an exceptionally helpful guidebook for all involved in helping people in situations of personal distress, sadness and trauma.”
"An important study"
“A balanced account of one of the most unbalanced topics in cultural psychiatry, psychiatric anthropology, and religious studies. An important study for inclusion in courses on religion and medicine, and an empirical provocation to psychiatry, anthropology and religious studies to reconsider what it means to struggle, endure, succumb, and overcome a ubiquitous form of human misery.”
"This book deepens our understanding of the complex distinction between normal sadness and depressive disorder."
“This book deepens our understanding of the complex distinction between normal sadness and depressive disorder. Through a penetrating study of Catholic help-seekers in Spain the author clearly illuminates the ways that individuals interpret their distress and take various kinds of actions to relieve it. This book makes an important contribution to knowledge not just about depression but also about the process of medicalization more generally.”
"Glòria Durà-Vilà explores the spiritual conceptualisation of human angst and loneliness with insightful compassion"
“We need a much better understanding of, and antidote to, the all-pervasive but often pointless medicalisation of human sadness and anxiety. This book engages with this problem from a fresh vantage point - that of men and women living a secluded religious life who not only make sense of psychological torment but face it head on, accommodating and transforming it as a kind of spiritual alchemy. Based on rich ethnographic research, Glòria Durà-Vilà explores the spiritual conceptualisation of human angst and loneliness with insightful compassion. In doing so, she permits us a unique and revealing account of dwindling religious communities that will stimulate anyone interested in the human condition.”
"The work is certainly illuminating; it deserves to be influential.”
“In this substantial study, Glòria Durà-Vilà has stepped boldly into the conflict between sacred and secular understandings of sadness, and revealed it to be a remarkably interesting, important and fertile area of study. The book presents detailed and careful research which not only shines light into contemporary and traditional experiences of darkness and depression, but also into the often murky ways that religious and medical professionals think about each other. The work is certainly illuminating; it deserves to be influential.”
"Durà-Vilà's rich ethnography of spiritual sadness is as haunting as it is beautiful."
“Durà-Vilà's rich ethnography of spiritual sadness is as haunting as it is beautiful. By giving us intimate glimpses into participants' spiritual lives, this work illuminates how, for some, sadness can become a source of deep reflection, and even grace, as well as what is potentially lost when medicalization strips sadness of its resonant meanings. Deftly and sympathetically weaving together spiritual and biomedical perspectives, this is a "must-read" book for anyone interested in depression, spirituality, and how institutions like religion and psychiatry shape our inner worlds.”
"A novel book that tackles in a creative and original way"
“A novel book that tackles in a creative and original way, as well as being empirical, documented and rigorous, one of the great topics of today: the relationship between spirituality, religion and mental health in a globalised world in a state of deep transformation. This brilliant analysis highlights the differences among sadness, the Dark Night of the Soul and depressive disorders in a social framework with a strong tendency to medicalise human suffering.”
"Durà-Vilà's cultural critique of a psychiatric check-list approach to diagnosing depression devoid of context"
“Lucid scholarship and sensitive ethnography situated in the ecclesiastical landscape of Spain provide grist for Durà-Vilà's cultural critique of a psychiatric check-list approach to diagnosing depression devoid of context. Clearly written and engaging, the study explains strengths and limitations of medicalising and spiritualising normal sadness and pathological depression. As a timely study of challenging issues, it demonstrates the value of a cultural formulation of religious faith. The book is an important contribution to cultural psychiatry, psychological anthropology and religious thought.”
"Durà-Vilà's work goes a long way toward this good end."
“In The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine (1999), Dr. Bernard Lown, a Nobel laureate and physician, writes about the fundamental need for human relationships between doctor and patient, pointing out how true healers make use of sympathetic listening and a trusting relationship, which affects outcomes from cardiac illness to depression. If medical care values meaning and context, with a strong alliance between provider and patient being crucial to outcome, they are even more critical in psychiatry, psychology, and religion, three fields in which emotion is at the forefront of care (Greenberg, 2016). Cure, in Latin, means to care! Durà-Vilà's work goes a long way toward this good end.
"I had a sense of journeying alongside the author in her study."
“In her preface, the author writes "I would like you to think of it [the book] as a sort of diary of my travels, a witness to my experiences and to the lessons I learned along the way." This is indeed how I experienced reading the book - I had a sense of journeying alongside the author in her study.”
“This scholarly presentation of a well-researched study deserves to be read widely. "
“This scholarly presentation of a well-researched study deserves to be read widely. I hope that it will help to change attitudes in a wide range of contexts.”