An assessment pathway for children


Developing a multi-agency assessment pathway for children and young people thought to have a Pathological Demand Avoidance profile

Editorial comment: "Lisa Summerhill is the Lead Clinical Psychologist working in a specialist autism assessment service provided by the NHS. Kate Collett is the coordinator of the specialist post diagnostic autism team provided by the Local Authority. In this paper, they present the case for setting up an assessment pathway for children thought to fit the profile of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). They were responding to increasing demands for PDA assessments and wanted to clarify the best course of action to support children who were often already diagnosed with autism but who were challenging schools and families. The authors are cautious about applying yet another label and strongly believe in assessment through intervention, that is, to observe a child’s response to strategies and engage regularly with all concerned to discuss next steps. They would like to conduct further research on the effectiveness of the approaches used so that they can build on the expertise within Solihull on understanding and managing children who are often described as challenging and complex and who have been excluded from school."


Authors: Lisa Summerhill and Kate Collett

Published: Good Autism Practice Journal, 2018