Pathological Demand Avoidance PDA Guidance


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We recognise that some children who are on the Autistic Spectrum struggle with the recommended strategies. They show signs of ‘demand avoidance’ and struggle with doing things when asked. This is rare, but it has been identified in some children who have been diagnosed with ASD. Rules are a struggle and having demands verbalised can leave children who struggle with PDA so stressed and anxious that they cannot function at all. These demands can cause high levels of anxiety for the child, and the teacher/parent if the child then has a panic. So the way we word things and how we respond often needs to be adapted. We have included some information and some strategies to help adults with children who struggle with this, no two children are the same, so whilst some may work, others might not, this is intended as a support and guidance, with ideas that can be tried and have been effective for some children with PDA.


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