Adults' Stories

Many of our adult cases studies are from adults who were often not aware of being on the autism spectrum until later in life. Many may have tried to cope with their difficulties, very often beginning in early adolescence, by self medicating or engaging in risky behaviours. This is common for individuals who are not diagnosed and are therefore unsupported and misunderstood. We hope that our case studies illustrate the benefits of their understanding of their Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Riko:  It wasnt until her late 20's that Riko discovered she had PDA. Being a single mum and doing a University course would be hard for most people, but with PDA the difficulties were immense. Since then she has learnt an enormous amount about herself, and is busy supporting PDAers through her blog. Here she describes her early difficulties, and her positive view of her future. Read more...

Peter:  At 22, Peter is just coming to the end of his time at College. When a teenager, his parents had to take a heart-breaking decision to move him to a residential school, and then had to fight for it to happen. But the new environment has made a tremendous difference to him and from those dark early days, it has been good to see the whole family now thriving. Peter's mother stresses how important it can be to think in advance and plan for your child's adolescence and early adult life. Read more...

Sally: A traumatic and difficult childhood and adolescence left Sally always feeling that she couldn't fit in, but over more recent years she has come to understand that there are reasons for her difficulties which has left her feeling vindicated, and allowed her to be more self-forgiving. She is now able to use her tremendous creativity and insights to support others with PDA.  She also sees many similar traits in her daughter, but can see that the family's understanding and love will mean her daughter's future is much brighter. Read more...

Julia: Julia was diagnosed with PDA by Elizabeth Newson aged 12 after her increasingly challenging behaviour resulted in school exclusion and social isolation. Now in her early 30s, Julia recounts the impact PDA (and her co-morbid ADHD) has had from childhood onwards and how increased self-awareness and connecting with other adults with PDA has helped her make sense of her life. Read more...

Mark: Mark ‘built masks’ and ‘faked neurotypical behaviour’ all his life whilst struggling under the surface with social interaction and unable to find a settled home or work life. Mark was diagnosed with autism aged 50 and self-identifies with a PDA profile. But lack of recognition of this more atypical form of autism leaves him feeling misunderstood with no services and support that can meet his needs. Read more...

We are continuing to build up our bank of case studies, so please get in touch if you can help.