Good Autism Practice Journal
This paper aims to add to the growing literature and interest in the group of children labelled as having PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome). Discussion and debate continue as to whether this is a different condition from autism, whether it is perhaps the female presentation of autism (as more girls have been identified with the PDA profile than boys) or whether it shares some of the key features of autism and so should be recognised as a part of the autism spectrum. A book has recently been published on understanding PDA in children which provides details of their characteristics and discusses some of the main debates and strategies which are likely to be effective (Christieetal,2011). What is true, is that children given this label are often very hard for parents and staff to work with, as they strongly resist the demands of others to engage in activities at home or at school. This paper describes the work done at home with a 7 year old boy thought to have PDA and suggests that these children need a rather different approach to that typically suggested for a child with autism.