PDA Behavioural Features: poster presentation


Extreme/ ‘Pathological’ Demand Avoidance: An Examination of the Behavioural Features Using a Semi-Structured Interview

This poster summarises a paper which examines the behavioural features associated with extreme/’pathological’ demand avoidance.

Parents of children with an ASD diagnosis who displayed features of extreme /’pathological’ demand avoidance, were questioned using a semi-structured interview model. Difficulties were identified in the following areas: complying with demands and accepting limits, controlling behaviour, extreme behaviour, engagement in fantasy/ role play, avoidance strategies, poor social awareness and intense emotional lability.

The findings of the paper recognised that extreme behaviours can create enormous difficulties for families and schools. It was emphasised that behavioural difficulties should be addressed properly with assessment so that potential management strategies can be identified to help each child.


Authors: Elizabeth O'Nions, Caroline Floyd, Emma Quinlan, Antonia San José Cáceres, Connie Pidgeon, Essi Viding and Francesca Happé.

Presented: The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) 2016 and the European Association for Forenisc Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (EFCAP) 2016