Working with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

• Are you a mental health clinician working with children and adolescents?
• Have you heard of PDA and want to learn more about it
• Are you currently working with PDA clients and are looking for specific skills in working with this unique population?

Pathalogical Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a profile of the autism spectrum, which involves extreme anxiety in response to every day requests and demands, and where the individual utilises "social strategies" to cope or avoid the demand. PDA can look a lot like Oppositional Defiant Disorder and due to its relative lack of awareness and training opportunities, often goes unrecognised and untreated. Clients with a PDA profile do not respond to traditional behavioural strategies, which in fact can worsen their symptoms and reduce their quality of life.

This 3 hour workshop focuses on providing allied health professionals who are working with children and young people the skills they need to identify and work with clients who present with PDA.

1) What is Pathological Demand Avoidance, how does it present and how is it diagnosed.
2) Develop an understanding of the challenges for the PDA individual and their family.
3) Screening and assessment - how do you screen and assess for PDA.
4) Key points to formulation and treatment planning and using functional assessment tools to support this.
5) The therapeutic approaches to working with kids with a PDA profile.
6) How to work with schools to ensure their students with PDA are well supported.
7) Supporting parents and families to learn the skills they need to support their child.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Getting Started

    • What to expect

    • About the presenter

  • 2


    • Introduction & Learning Outcomes

  • 3

    Module 1

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • 4

    Module 2

    • PDA - Background

  • 5

    Module 3

    • Diagnosing PDA

  • 6

    Module 4

    • In The Therapy Room

    • Thank you!