Members of the PDA Society often talk about the difficulties of finding individual Autism practitioners with sufficient knowledge of Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome to be confident that are making an informed diagnosis. This is important, not for reasons of diagnosis itself, but because when usual ASD strategies are used, young people with PDA fail to progress whereas with the correct advice a significant difference can be made.
In order to find out more, the Society conducted a survey of professionals who work with, assess and diagnose young people with ASD. The aim was to find out about their attitude to the diagnosis of PDA and their current state of knowledge.
It showed that there is more work to be done, as there are many people who are not aware of the latest research or of the detail of helpful management strategies.
It seems that as knowledge and experience spreads, PDA will be identified more easily within assessments and diagnoses, as two thirds felt constrained by a lack of awareness among colleagues locally and by a lack of national recognition.
As a Society this report gives us some direction as it highlights the need for professionals to have greater awareness of the latest research and management strategies along with case studies which illustrate the similarities and differences with others on the autistic spectrum.
Read the survey results here: Diagnosis of PDA: Views of Professionals
July 2020 edit: Our recently published What is PDA? booklet is is a helpful starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about PDA. Please do pass it on to anyone who you think will benefit from it.