Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome – Autism


My mission – to generate a wave of awareness and understanding of PDA.

What is PDA? – Professor Elizabeth Newson explains in this link below:-

My son – The Facts

  • Loving, handsome, qwerky, smart, sensitive, funny, observant, playful, kind, thoughtful


  • Panic attacks /challenging behaviour:  aggressive outbursts, kicking, biting, hitting, swearing, shouting, throwing, harm to self and others (No obvious triggers)
  • Communication abnormalities:  Echolalic speech, literal understanding of speech, neologisms (using idiosyncratic words instead of convention speech), language disorder to varying degrees, inappropriate speech for social context
  • Social communication difficulties
  • Lack of turn taking and difficulties in understanding social play and rules
  • Difficulties knowing how to react to another person’s behaviour
  • Difficulties accepting that there may be other perspectives, not just a single perspective
  • Limited gesturing
  • Rigid thinking
  • Fight or flight

One thought on “Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome – Autism

  1. Julie Jacob

    Hi Debra, I’m a mum of a five year old boy who is in the middle of a PDA diagnosis.
    I’m really interested about a comment you made about your son(an old post I think) and the fact that His behavior being worse when He needed a bowel movement. My son is EXACTLY the same. I would love to know if you had anymore info regarding that?
    Many Thanks
    Julie xx

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