Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in Neurodivergent Children

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is usually seen as profile on the autism spectrum.  However my own daughter who has an ADHD profile suffers from PDA to a high level, this then makes me ask questions around wether she is AuDHD or if that PDA is common in other areas too - still working that one out!

PDA is characterised by an extreme avoidance of everyday demands and expectations due, often a simple request like "brush your teeth" can put the child into fight, flight, freeze or fawn. Children with PDA often exhibit behaviours that can be challenging for parents and educators to manage, but understanding these behaviours and employing low demand language can help maintain a child's regulation and overall well-being.

What Does PDA Look Like?

Children with PDA may exhibit a range of behaviours that stem from their need to avoid demands and expectations. These behaviours can include:

  •  Avoidance: Going to great lengths to avoid demands, including creating distractions or...
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