Evidence for use of PDA terminology


Evidence for Professional Consideration of Demand Avoidance in Autism Assessments

The lack of research into PDA explains why it doesn’t feature in diagnostic manuals, although these manuals do permit for clarifying terminology such as “ASD with a demand avoidant profile”.

The following evidence has been drawn together to demonstrate that, while different viewpoints exist, clinicians who choose to use terminology to indicate a PDA profile are not doing so in opposition to current medical guidance and thinking. It also illustrates the increasing evidence that the driver for the use of terminology is the impact on improving outcomes.

This document gives a broad outline of evidence from a range of sources and is now
supplemented by detailed clinician-focussed Practice Guidance: ‘Identifying and assessing a PDA Profile’ published in Jan 2022.