Possible outcomes of assessment

Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) is not included in the diagnostic manuals and professionals are unlikely to provide PDA as a sole diagnosis, even if they agree that your child fits the profile. Amongst those who recognise the validity of the condition, it is generally accepted that PDA is a pervasive developmental disorder, belonging to the autistic spectrum. This would be reflected in their diagnosis and a common way of presenting this would be to describe an individual as having  "ASD (or atypical autism) with a PDA behaviour profile". This may sound like a compromise and it is, but one that is in your child's best interests. Not all local authorities, service providers, education or health professionals recognise the validity of PDA. They may disregard the label completely (because it's not in the manuals) or misinterpret it as a behavioural problem. Including a reference to an ASD in the diagnosis helps to safeguard against this.

Some professionals may be unwilling to formally include PDA in a diagnosis, but may make reference to 'demand avoidance' as a significant feature of the behaviour. Alternatively, others may acknowledge the presence of PDA-like behaviours, but argue that the term Autistic Spectrum Disorder encompasses a broad range of problems and that there is no need for further refinement to an ASD diagnosis.

Professionals who do not include PDA in a diagnosis may be prepared to reference PDA approaches as of potential benefit within the body of any accompanying report.