Understanding the Pathological Demand Avoidance Profile of the Autism Spectrum

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is now widely recognized as a distinct profile of autism in the United Kingdom and other countries. Individuals with a PDA profile share challenges in social communication/interaction and restricted and repetitive behaviors with others on the autism spectrum. In addition, however, PDA is characterized by high anxiety and a need to be in control. As a result, individuals with PDA can find everyday demands and requests intolerable resulting in behaviors that are challenging to others. The strategies developed to manage PDA differ from strategies considered effective for individuals with other forms of autism. This presentation will discuss PDA and focus on the interventions helpful to this population.


Diane Gould LCSW, BCBA,