Academic paper

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An exploration of the PDA profile in children

An exploration of the Pathological (or Extreme) Demand Avoidant profile in children referred for an autism diagnostic assessment using data from ADOS-2 assessments and their developmental histories This paper represents the first step in analysing and reporting on data gathered between 2015 and 2017 on 351 children referred to Dr [...]

Extreme/‘pathological’ demand avoidance: an overview

Extreme/‘pathological’ demand avoidance: an overview In this article, Elizabeth O'Nions and Judy Eaton provide an overview of PDA, discuss the clinical presentation of individuals with a PDA profile, and differences compared to children with documented attachment difficulties. They then discuss empirical work describing how anxiety-driven avoidance of routine demands can [...]

Parenting strategies in ASD

Parenting Strategies Used by Parents of Children with ASD: Differential Links with Child Problem Behaviour In this paper, Liz O'Nions explores a new scale which is designed to measure strategies for problem behaviour in ASD. The results are especially interesting as more than half of those involved in the study [...]

Summary of Understanding of E/PDA

Extreme /’Pathological’ Demand Avoidance This article addresses the topics of debate and controversy that exist surrounding the classification of extreme/’pathological’ demand avoidance as a profile of the autism spectrum. A comprehensive overview of the existing and ongoing areas of research is given. There is discussion of the behavioural traits displayed by [...]

Summary of research developments

This summary was prepared by Dr. Liz O’Nions, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Parenting and Special Education Research Unit, KU Leuven, Belgium. It relates to the work done up until April 2016. Early research on PDA was carried out by Elizabeth Newson and colleagues and published through conference proceedings and informal [...]

Identifying features of ‘PDA’ using the Diagnostic Interview (DISCO)

Identifying features of ‘pathological demand avoidance’ using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) This paper discusses the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) and existing items within the model which are more specific to PDA when compared to the rest of the autism spectrum. It [...]

PDA behavioural profile

Pathological demand avoidance: Exploring the behavioural profile The aim of this paper was to report the profiles of children diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) compared to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Conduct Problems (CPs) and Callous Un-emotional Traits (CUs).  The study addressed some of the controversy surrounding the [...]

Dimensions of difficulty

Dimensions of difficulty in children reported to have an autism spectrum diagnosis and features of extreme pathological demand avoidance Background A subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) resemble descriptions of extreme/‘pathological’ demand avoidance, displaying obsessive avoidance of everyday demands and requests, strategic or ‘socially manipulative’ behaviour and sudden changes [...]

Measurement of Adult Traits

The Measurement of Adult Pathological Demand Avoidance Traits This paper reports two studies that were carried out to test the validity of the EDA-QA (Extreme Demand Avoidance Questionnaire for Adults) when screening for PDA in adults. Participants in the study were volunteers recruited from a variety of specialist online forums [...]

Need for distinguishing PDA

Pathological demand avoidance syndrome: a necessary distinction within the pervasive developmental disorders The aim of this paper was to gain recognition for pathological demand avoidance (PDA) as a separate entity within the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) (now termed Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD). Elizabeth Newson and colleagues had recognised a group [...]

Prevalence Study

Extreme (“pathological”) demand avoidance in autism: a general population study in the Faroe Islands A study was carried out to determine the frequency of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) within a group of individuals identified as having met the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is a thought-provoking read [...]

Mapping educational experiences

Mapping the educational experiences of children with pathological demand avoidance This paper describes a study carried out to review the educational experiences of children with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).  It would be of interest to those who work in the field of education and to parents who are navigating their [...]

Adult diagnosis case study

Adult diagnosis of pathological demand avoidance – subsequent care planning In this paper, Eaton and Banting report on the diagnosis of a young woman in a low secure hospital, and the subsequent impact on her care. It highlights the need for those in residential and secure settings to be carefully [...]

PDA and epilepsy case studies

Pathological Demand Avoidance in a population-based cohort of children with epilepsy: Four case studies The case studies described in this paper illustrate the complexity of neuro-developmental conditions, and the way in which multiple diagnoses can be manifest. It highlights the importance of all holistic assessments considering the possibility of demand [...]

A unhelpful label?

Pathological demand avoidance: What and who are being pathologised and in whose interests? Written from a social science/'critical autism study' perspective, this paper challenges the notion of PDA as a useful label. It suggests those identified may be young people who fail to conform to neuro-typical expectations and norms, and [...]

Strategies case study

Helping your child with PDA to play: eight strategies for supporting a child with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome at home This paper describes a case study of a young boy and the strategies that enabled him to learn skills while playing with others and developing positive relationships. The eight strategies described [...]