Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children

Phil Christie Margaret Duncan Ruth Fidler Zara Healy

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  • Ages: 5-28
  • Pages: 207
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781849050746
  • Published: 2012


Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) is a developmental disorder that is being increasingly recognised as part of the autism spectrum. The main characteristic is a continued resistance to the ordinary demands of life through strategies of social manipulation, which originates from an anxiety-driven need to be in control.

This straightforward guide is written collaboratively by professionals and parents to give a complete overview of PDA. Starting with an exploration into the syndrome, it goes on to answer the immediate questions triggered when a child is first diagnosed, and uses case examples throughout to illustrate the impact of the condition on different areas of the child's life. Early intervention options and workable strategies for managing PDA positively will make day-to-day life easier for the child, their family and peers. New problems faced in the teenage years and how to assist a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood are also tackled. The book concludes with a valuable resources list.

Full of helpful guidance and support, this user-friendly introductory handbook is essential reading for families, careers and anyone who knows a child with PDA.

Michelle Garcia Winner, the Founder of Social Thinking, says:

“If we could change one thing about this book, it would be the title. The word “pathological” may turn professionals and parents away from a resource filled with practical and helpful strategies for working with individuals who “pervasively” and “persistently” avoid or push back on seemingly simple, everyday demands. This book emphasizes the roles of anxiety, behavior, and language in gaining control, and will help the reader realize they are not alone in their quest to help these students. The strategies, created by both parents and professionals, are designed for home, school and community. You don’t have to work with a student with PDA to find the tools useful! ”

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