About Us

I'm Steph, a 51 year old mum of two girls, now aged 18 and 16. I started typing this blog on the day I visited a paediatrician with our younger daughter. Sasha was 2 and a half years old, and we were told that she was autistic. Here's the link to my first ever post: Today - A diagnosis of autism?

Our two girls had a close bond and had lots of fun and laughter together. I instinctively felt that I should begin a diary to record what was happening for us. I knew that I wanted to share about what happened next for the whole family, in particular for Sasha's older sister Tamsin, rather than just focusing on the autism. That led to the decision to name the blog Steph's Two Girls.

After much reading and research, we came to the conclusion that our youngest girl has a particular sub-type, or profile, of Autism called Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).
My post 'when we first discovered PDA' is a short summary of the early years and Our PDA Story week 35 was a later update on my blog. After that, I decided that it would be good to tell our story in a book format, in the hope that other families would benefit from our experiences and understanding in some way. I soon learnt that book writing is very different to blog writing! After a couple of years it was finally finished and our book, PDA in the Family, is due to be published in January 2024. For more information please see the post 'PDA in the Family (Book)' or click on the photo above.

Lovely people have told me that I've written several blog posts about PDA which have helped them- I tried to pull the most important ones together in my post Top Ten information posts about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance).
Image with text top ten posts on PDA showing hand typing on laptop

The central difficulty for people with PDA is their avoidance of the everyday demands made by other people, due to their high anxiety levels when they feel that they are not in control.

People with PDA can appear more sociable and have much better social communication and interaction skills than some other people on the spectrum, and are consequently able to use this ability to their advantage. They still have real difficulties in these areas though, mainly because of their need to control the interaction.

The originally noted main features of PDA (and how it may differ from other profiles of autism) were:
  • obsessively resisting ordinary demands
  • appearing sociable on the surface but lacking depth in understanding (often recognised by parents early on)
  • excessive mood swings, often switching suddenly
  • comfortable (sometimes to an extreme extent) in role play and pretending
  • obsessive behaviour, often focused on people rather than things.
Language delay, seemingly as a result of passivity, but often with a good degree of 'catch-up' was considered a characteristic initially (and was relevant for our girl) but is not always noted nowadays.
Research into this profile of autism is ongoing. For more detailed information about PDA, please do visit the PDA Society webpage where there are many resources and more detailed information on research and diagnostic criteria. There are many older posts on my blog explaining how life was, as we muddled our way through after this diagnosis for our youngest daughter. 
head and shoulders photo of me leaning on a pile of books

I post regularly on my Facebook page and Instagram, and also use X and YouTube

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For more information about PDA, please read any of the books in my post below

Books about the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) profile of autism

Stack of book spines, all books about PDA listed in the post link given

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.