Diagnosing PDA

Whilst there is currently a range of clinical and academic viewpoints about the PDA profile of autism, as detailed on these pages

clinicians who assess for, and use terminology around, the PDA profile do so within current medical guidance/thinking and with the primary objective of improving outcomes, as outlined in this paper: Evidence for professional consideration of demand avoidance in autism assessments.

Recent developments such as

all point to increasing awareness, understanding and acceptance that identifying the PDA profile of autism is appropriate and serves, most importantly, as a clear signpost to the approaches that are most helpful for this presentation of autism (please see Helpful approaches for children and Self-help, coping strategies & therapies for adults).

The PDA Society’s current understanding is that PDA is not a diagnosis in its own right, however the PDA profile can be identified during an autism assessment and that formulations such as ‘Autism with a PDA profile’ or ‘ASD with demand avoidant traits’ or similar can be, and are being, used.

Further information for clinicians can be found here: Information for healthcare professionals.

For details about the diagnostic pathways in the UK, please see Diagnosing PDA in children and Diagnosing PDA in adults