Saturday, 15 May 2021

Want to read more about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)?

Today is PDA Day 2021, a chance to spread more information about the type, or profile, of autism known as Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Our younger daughter was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and is now nearly 14, but it was only around ten years ago when we first heard of PDA. I'd stumbled across descriptions of PDA whilst online, looking for more information about autism and trying to understand why my daughter didn't seem the same in many ways as most of the other autistic children I had met at that point. I had what is known in this PDA community as a 'lightbulb moment', and it led me to write a post asking people to read the book Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children.

I had already started blogging about our life with autism at that point, mainly to try to help other people understand why our daughter was acting differently to other typically developing toddlers. Finding out about PDA was a revelation to me and it helped me help our younger daughter better. Over the years I began to realise that I wanted other families to benefit from the kind of help and information I had been lucky enough to find and so I began to write more specifically about PDA.
Face shot of Steph, a 40 something mum with grey hair, smiling at the camera as she peers over the top of a pile of books about PDA
Some time ago I wrote a post highlighting some of the available literature on PDA. Now I am thrilled to be able to announce that I have just signed a contract with JKP (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, the main publishers of books about autism) to write a book about our own experiences with PDA over those ten years. 

My goal is to continue to shine a light on PDA to increase public understanding of this 'way of being', and in this book I will also write about what has helped us along the way. The most exciting part is that we are hoping to include the voices of Sasha, her sister and her Dad too... watch this space!

I have massively appreciated all the support I've had over the years since I started blogging. People reading, commenting on and sharing posts is what has helped bring PDA under the spotlight, so thank you all from the bottom of my heart. 

The PDA Society was the first place I turned to after my lightbulb moment and it has always been a huge source of support for me. Their website at www.pdasociety.org.uk is full of information and they also offer a free enquiry helpline. They are just a small charity run by a team of amazing volunteers who all have direct experience of PDA and I know they appreciate any support given, whether that's through donations to help them fund training on PDA for both parents/carers and professionals, or sharing of their social media posts to help spread the word.

There are several other bloggers sharing about PDA, both parents/carers and adults with PDA and in my eyes it's definitely a case of 'the more, the merrier'. I'm always a little nervous about linking to people in case I forget anyone and they feel left out, but at the same time I don't want to miss this opportunity to share some other great sources of info. Please do leave details of any other PDA writers you know in the comments here, or over on my Facebook page.

Danielle at pdaparenting.com
Harry Thompson at www.harryjackthompson.com
Julia Daunt at memyselfandpda.com
Sally Cat at www.sallycatpda.co.uk
The Lightbulb Moment thelightbulbmomentpda.com
Missing the Mark missingthemark.blog
PDA Dad UK at PDA Dad on YouTube

And if any posts from the people above resonate with you, why not nominate them for a BAPS Award (BAPS stands for Bloody Awesome Parents and Supporters) - for more information on that see the My Family Our Needs website.

My book is not written yet so this is your chance to shape it in some way. Ask me any questions which you'd like to see covered in the book, whether that's about schooling and education, home life or any other topic. I always say, there's never a dull moment in our house, so I'm sure there is plenty of content already but I'm sure some focus will help over the next few months!

I'd like to end by asking you to sign up to my email list if you can. I do a lot of social posting on social media but I'm very aware that it can be hit and miss as to whether people ever see the posts. The most fool-proof way to get information to you is via email. My intention is to only send new blog posts to your inbox, and a monthly email with any book news but also containing some of the key PDA info which has helped us along the way. It would make me happy if you join up with your basic info below:

Join the Steph's Two Girls' Gang!

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For more information about PDA, please read the book shown below: 
* this is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you click and go on to buy anything. It won't cost you any extra.
Book cover for Understanding pathological demand avoidance syndrome in children, by Phil christie, margaret duncan, zara healy and ruth fidler
(Other PDA books can be found in my 

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page or the summary of our experience in Our PDA Story Week 35. If you are looking for more online reading about Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.


What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?


Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance


Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?


The difference between PDA and ODD


Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)


Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools


Challenging Behaviour and PDA


Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?


Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?




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