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This webinar is being run by Children in Scotland as an abbreviated version of the full-day training course detailed below, due to the coronavirus outbreak. We’ll cover elements of the programme listed in the original workshop outline below:

This seminar will help you develop a better understanding of the distinct behaviour profile associated with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) Syndrome, and will explore how to provide better support to those pupils who are affected.

Although the Syndrome is not yet officially recognised in Scotland as being part of the autism spectrum, parents, carers and the sector have identified a need for improved guidance and support on this topic.

Key learning:

  • The distinctive profile of PDA, in particular the way children are driven to avoid demands and expectations
  • Issues for educational settings in meeting the needs of pupils with PDA
  • Effective strategies for engaging with children with PDA and promoting their emotional wellbeing.


Ruth Fidler is an Education Consultant specialising in complex autism, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), interactive approaches and emotional wellbeing. She worked at Sutherland House, a non-maintained special school for 94 pupils across the autism spectrum, for 22 years.

Ruth provides training and consultancy for schools and parents and works with other agencies including the Autism Education Trust and the National Autistic Society.

She is co-author of two books, Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome in children (2012) and Can I Tell You About Pathological Demand Avoidance? (2015).


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