Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome was a term coined in the 1980’s by Professor Elizabeth Newson to describe a group of children that presented with a unique cluster of symptoms.
These children were extremely complex and would often remind the referring clinician of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, but something just didn’t quite fit, due to the atypical presentation that these children displayed.
Most notable was that these children appeared to have better communication skills, social understanding and imaginative play than you would typically expect to see in a child with ASD. However, it was noted that that these skills appeared to be at a surface level only and lacking in depth.
They also all shared what would become the over-riding diagnostic feature for PDA ‘an obsessive avoidance of everyday demands’
The National Autistic Society provide a useful factsheet about PDA.
The PDA Society provide information, support and training for parents, carers, teachers and individuals with PDA.
Living with PDA is extremely challenging and frustrating for many parents due to the extreme complexity of this condition. This is often further compounded by a lack of awareness, understanding or acceptance from professionals, family and friends alike.
I am the parent of a child diagnosed with PDA and I, like you, have experienced all of the above and continue to face many battles on a daily basis in order to secure the correct support for my child.
I hope that this blog may offer guidance, for parents of children with PDA, in order to navigate the many winding roads that they may face both at home and in their dealings with professionals.
Please note that I am not a professional and so this blog is based on my personal experiences and my own research. Where possible any information or advice shared is linked to an official source.
Any parenting tips or strategies are based on my own experiences. Therefore they may not be suitable or practical for all families and individuals with PDA. They are merely suggestions to give understanding and guidance. Ultimately each family living with PDA will hopefully fine tune and adapt any suggestions in line with their own unique family situation and child.
N.B. If there are any links that appear to be broken or not working then please do inform me in the comments box at the end of each post.