PDA specific books



 Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance in Children

The first book ever written about PDA - it gives a comprehensive overview for everyone with an interest in the subject. It was written collaboratively by professionals and parents.

Can I Tell You about Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome

In this illustrated guide Issy invites readers to learn about PDA from her perspective, helping them to understand how it causes her to find simple, everyday demands very stressful. Issy tells readers (aged 7 upwards) about all the ways she can be helped and supported by those around her.


Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome: My Daughter is not Naughty.

An honest account of one family's experiences of raising a child with PDA. It includes strategies to help manage PDA behaviours, information on obtaining diagnosis and explanations to help readers gain a better understanding of the profile.
PDA by PDAers

This book is a collection of genuine insights and experiences from adults living with PDA, adapted from their interactions on a popular online support group. It includes frank discussions of topics relevant to PDA, including work, relationships and managing meltdowns, making it a vital resource for both individuals and professionals.
Collaborative Approaches to Learning for Pupils with PDA
This is a definitive guide to supporting children with PDA at school. It includes a useful, up to date overview of PDA and explains why a collaborative approach is such a successful method. It includes information on creating a PDA-friendly environment for both mainstream and specialist provisions.

Me and My PDA
This illustrated guide is aimed at young people (10+) to help them understand their diagnosis of PDA. It aims to develop self-awareness so they can implement their own personalised problem-solving strategies. Readers are encouraged to engage throughout with interactive writing, doodling and checklist exercises to explore their own particular characteristics, strengths and challenges.

The PDA Paradox: The Highs and Lows of My Life on a Little-Known Part of the Autism Spectrum

Diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in his teenage years, Harry Thompson looks back with wit and humour at the ups and downs of family and romantic relationships, school, work and mental health, as well as his teenage struggle with drugs and alcohol. By embracing neurodiversity and emphasising that autistic people are not flawed human beings, Thompson demonstrates that some merely need to take the "scenic route" in order to flourish and reach their full potential. 

Book in Norwegian about PDA with information, strategies and parent’s story.

It's a PanDA thing- Rachel Jackson

“it’s a PanDA thing” is a short picture story aimed at supporting first conversations between parents or carers and their children. Inspired by her own journey with her son Leo and his brother Ben, the beautifully illustrated book and gentle rhyming lilt gives a perspective on how PDA can feel for children and their families. Featuring the PDA Society’s panda ambassador and a foreword by Harry Thompson.

Can You See Me? -Libby Scott
With moving diary entries written by 11-year-old Libby Scott, based on her own experience of autism with a demand avoidant profile, Can You See Me? is an authentic, powerful and memorable collaboration with esteemed author Rebecca Westcott that will change the way you think about autism.
Underdogs - Chris Bonnello
A dystopian novel with a neurodiverse teenage character set, including a lead character Ewan who has a diagnosis of a PDA profile of autism. “After a lifetime of being defined by their weaknesses, the teenagers must learn how to play to their strengths, and become the best they can be in a world that has never been on their side.”
Life on an Alien Planet: A PDA boy and his journey through the education system - Katie Stott
With useful advice and observations, Katie provides a detailed account of the PDA specific behaviours in her son Fraser and how she learnt to lessen the impact of these by focusing on the cause (anxiety and a need for control), rather than the effect. Katie explains how Fraser’s sensory issues also contributed to his every day challenges at school as he became increasingly isolated from his classmates and faced risk of expulsion when the school became unable to cope. The book goes on to explore Katie’s fight to gain recognition of PDA in school and despite significant obstacles, the way she eventually managed to secure an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and a specialist school so that Fraser could learn, make friends and thrive once again.
Super Shamlal - Living and Learning with Pathological Demand Avoidance
This illustrated storybook is aimed at children aged 7-11 to help them recognise the features of PDA, and develop tools to support them. A helpful introduction for parents and carers explains how it feels to live with PDA, and the appendices at the back provide useful strategies to be adopted at school and at home. From the author of The Red Beast and The Panicosaurus.


Autism books that you may find helpful

A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum

This book addresses the specific mental health needs of girls and young women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including those presenting with the PDA profile. Looking at the ways autism presents differently in girls than in boys, and the mental health conditions that occur most frequently in girls with ASD, this is the essential guide for clinicians and educators on tailoring interventions and support to meet girls' needs.
Talking Autism – Parenting your unique child
Combining experience as a specialist teacher (over 20 years working with children on the spectrum) and as a parent, Victoria has a wealth of knowledge on many children in different situations and this includes working with PDA students. Victoria also tries to encourage the reader to have confidence in their own ability to parent their child uniquely.
Autism – how to raise a happy autistic child
This is a definitive guide for parents of autistic children, written from a perspective of neurodiversity - looking at the condition as a difference rather than a disorder. It includes guidance on what to do if you think your child is autistic and how to understand/support them better. There are sections on mental health and gender differences.
 Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults
Written by university lecturer Dr Luke Beardon, this book presents an up-to-date overview of autism and Asperger syndrome. He comments on the realities of adult life including further and higher education, employment, dating and parenthood.

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, Tom Fields-Meyer  

Essential reading for any parent, teacher, therapist, or caregiver of a person with autism: a groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world's leading experts, who portrays autism not as a tragic disability, but as a unique way of being human. Autism is usually portrayed as a checklist of deficits, including difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behaviour patterns. This perspective leads to therapies focused on ridding individuals of "autistic" symptoms

A Practical Guide to Happiness in Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum: A Positive Psychology Approach by Victoria Honeybourne

Full of simple strategies for happiness in children and teens with autism, this book is a must-read for anyone dedicated to the wellbeing of a child on the spectrum.

How to Live with Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals by Chris Williams and Barry Wright
This accessible and valuable introduction to caring for a child with autism is an ideal resource for teachers and members of a child with autism's immediate and extended family. In clear and simple language, with many illustrations, the authors tackle common problems experienced in everyday routines such as eating, sleeping and going to the toilet, as well as how to cope with aggression and tantrums, preoccupations and compulsions and how to enable better communication and socialising.

Ten Rules for Ensuring That the Mental Health Needs of Autistic People and People with Learning Disabilities are not Recognised or Supported ... and maybe what to do about it. Dr Damian Milton, Richard Mills and Juli Crocombe 

Ten Rules for Ensuring That the Mental Health Needs of Autistic People and People with Learning Disabilities are not Recognised or Supported ... and maybe what to do about it.

A Mismatch of Salience by Dr Damian Milton
A Mismatch of Salience explores the communication challenges between people on the autism spectrum and neurotypical people and seeks to rebalance and celebrate this diversity.

Food Refusal and Avoidant Eating in Children, including those with Autism Spectrum Conditions: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals
Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a restricted dietary range, and this book provides parents with advice and training on how to deal with this condition and achieve a healthier and more balanced diet

Autism With Lola - Social stories for children
Author Jodie Isitt has designed and created these beautiful social stories that are written in a gentle and relatable way so as to enhance the understanding of neuro-diversity in young children. Cute woodland characters will take their readers on an educational journey to embrace differences such as living with anxiety or being autistic, whilst teaching them ideas for kindness and creating learning opportunities for young children which will empower them and give them the knowledge they desperately need so that they are always confident in neuro-diversity.

Useful books for support strategies


The Explosive Child

Not PDA specific but many find this approach really helpful, this book offers useful management strategies for understanding and parenting 'challenging children'. Also see Lost at School below.
Lost At School

Written by a pioneer in working with 'challenging children', this is the partner book to The Explosive Child above and offers a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these children at school and for transforming school discipline.

                The Incredible 5 Point Scale

The scale is applicable for a variety of behaviours and responses, including feelings of anxiety, obsessions, concepts of personal space and feelings of anger. The book includes stories suitable to be read to a child, visual scales and tips for implementation. More information and some free resources can be found here                                                                                                                                                                     
                   The Red Beast 
This vibrant fully illustrated children's storybook is written for children aged 5+, and is an accessible, fun way to talk about anger, with useful tips about how to 'tame the red beast' and guidance for parents on how anger affects children with Asperger's Syndrome.       
  This fun, easy-to-read and fully illustrated storybook will inspire children who experience anxiety, and encourage them to banish their own Panicosauruses with help from Mabel's strategies.
Starving the Anger Gremlin

A self-help book (for children aged 5-9 years) which uses the idea of a gremlin who feeds on anger - the more anger you give him the bigger he gets. Children learn how to starve the gremlin of angry thoughts, feelings and behaviours to help him disappear in a fun and imaginative way.
Starving the Anxiety Gremlin

A cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on anxiety management for young people that helps readers identify the sources of their anxiety and learn effective ways of coping.

Toilet Training and the Autism Spectrum. A Guide for Professionals

This practical guide equips practitioners to support families and carers in developing effective toilet training programmes and provide continued help with analysing and addressing problems that occur. It also has an invaluable chapter on approaching toilet training with children with PDA. 

Suzie Books
A series of children's stories intended to help children cope with new situations found in most families


The Adventures of Stretch More

Pick-your-path stories for solving problems together. If you know a child like Stretch one who has difficulty adapting to changes, handling frustrations, and problem solving then this book can help!

The Kids' Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control

This book is packed with simple ideas that regulate the emotions and senses.  It teaches using different strategies such as breathing exercises, pressure holds and finger pulls as well as finding ways to label difficult feelings so that the child will feel more in control (suitable for 7-14 years).

The author, Lauren Bruckner, has written many other books about self-regulation some for younger age groups.

Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief
A fun and effective cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on building positive self-esteem and confidence for young people.


Think Good - Feel Good
Is an exciting and pioneering new practical resource in print and on the internet for undertaking cognitive behavioural therapy with children and young people.


A Volcano in My Tummy
Helping Children to Handle Anger presents a clear and effective approach to helping children and adults alike understand and deal constructively with children's anger.


Anger Management, A Practical Guide for Teachers

Lots of practical ideas for working with children who have difficulties managing their anger. 

Simple Stuff to Get Kids Self-Regulating in School

This book is for teachers and therapists to help them empower their students to self-regulate in a school environment.  It contains various photocopiable lesson plans, as well as strategies to integrate the successful 'Awesome and In Control’ program within the classroom.