Young people with PDA at risk of being misunderstood

A report by the UK-based PDA Society shows that young people with a PDA profile are at high risk of being misunderstood. Key findings include:

  • 70% aren’t in school or regularly struggle to attend
  • 70% have found a lack of understanding/acceptance a barrier to getting support
  • 78% have difficulties with daily tasks
  • 49% of young people have a diagnosis that includes mention of a PDA profile
  • Conventional ASD approaches hinder rather than help

The report’s author says,

“Usual good parenting techniques such as use of praise, boundaries and ‘rewards and consequences’ fail; whereas negotiation, collaboration, minimal ground rules and careful use of language helps. Without an understanding of the profile and the approaches which work, one can see why professionals may sometimes look at a family and think that things may be the parent’s fault.”

The full report – Being Misunderstood: Experiences of the Pathological Demand Avoidance Profile of ASD – offers recommendations for service providers, professionals, parents and others. It can be downloaded from the PDA Society’s website here.

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