The PDA Society today published a report which reveals how a group of autistic people is at especially high risk of being misunderstood.
The report, entitled “Being Misunderstood”, is based on the largest survey to date on the topic of PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance, a profile on the autism spectrum). The PDA Society hopes that its key findings will be a wake-up call to all those supporting and providing services to the autistic community; calls for local leaders to adopt a position statement on the PDA profile; and for practitioners to ensure that ‘needs-based and outcomes-focused’ becomes the norm and not the exception for this group.
The PDA Society survey was conducted online for two weeks in March 2018 and was completed by 1,445 parents, professionals, PDA adults and their partners/family.
The report makes clear that lack of acceptance and understanding of the PDA profile is the biggest barrier to accessing support. For outcomes to improve, professionals need to know:
1) that they can speak openly about this group of autistic people using unambiguous terminology and
2) most importantly, promote appropriate strategies.
For this to happen, local leaders of services for autistic people must frame the way this profile can be managed – this is likely to be best achieved through publication of a position statement for professionals and service users along with resources for staff development. The report concludes with detailed recommendations for improved support across all sectors