Hemel mum’s blog on autism up for national awards

Danielle Jata-Hall with daughters Arijana, 7, Isla, 2, and Amelie, 5.
Danielle Jata-Hall with daughters Arijana, 7, Isla, 2, and Amelie, 5.

A mum-of-three has been nominated for a national award for her blog on autism.

Danielle Jata-Hall, from Hemel Hempstead, is a finalist in the ‘fresh voice’ category at the 2018 Brilliance in Blogging Awards.

Her blog, set up in 2017, is about raising a child with the rare autistic profile, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

She said: “I am just so thrilled to have been recognised for doing something I feel passionate about, and I hope one day PDA will be better understood.

“I am so grateful to the readers of my blog for the nominations, I really never expected to get this far.”

Mrs Jata-Hall first set up the ‘PDA parenting’ because of a lack of support for her daughter Arijana’s condition.

She said: “As a family we have been continuously judged and misunderstood, as well as unsupported due to the lack of understanding and knowledge on the specific strategies required to help an individual with PDA.

“I wanted to use my individual voice to make a change and to prevent another child from being discriminated against.”

PDA is a lesser known profile of autism which includes difficulties in social communication, social interaction, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour.

Mrs Jata-Hall said: “My daughter is often in a state of ‘fight or flight’ mode which is directly relating to her autism and sadly she is often labelled as a naughty or oppositional child.

“People often stare or cast judgements, blaming my parenting, which means that we find it hard to go out.”

After peacefully protesting with her daughter at Westminister in May, Mrs Jata-Hall met MP Mike Penning to discuss the call for PDA action.

She said Mr Penning had offered ‘input’ to get the condition supported and more widely recognised.