PDA North America Resources
At PDA North America, we aim to provide as many resources as possible to support those living with PDA. To be updated when we add new content, please join our mailing list! If there’s a resource you’d like to see, please let us know!
Free Downloadable PDFs
Below you'll find free downloadable resources from PDA North America that we've created or compiled from various organizations supporting pathological demand avoidance. These resources will continue to grow so be sure to check back regularly. If you are looking for us to create a specific resource, email us to let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
The Distinctive Clinical and Educational Needs of Children with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome
PDA Consulting for Families, Schools & Therapists
PDA North America founder, Diane Gould, is available to consult on PDA related issues to parents, schools, therapists or any interested party anywhere in the country. Diane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that specializes in PDA autism. Diane is available for ongoing or as needed virtual parent consultations that focus on understanding the child, effective parenting styles, sibling issues and building community resources.
Consultations with families, therapists & school districts
Guest lecturer for school districts, parent associations, and private agencies
Consult with parents to discuss problems that may be occuring in school
Advocate to review records & attend IEP/504 school meetings with parents
Review & help create PDA supportive behavior intervention plans
Clinical consultation to therapists in order to better meet the needs of their PDA clients and families.
Formal training also available upon request
If interested in PDA consulting, please contact Diane Gould: email@example.com
PDA-Affirming Provider List
Below you will find a link to one of the most powerful resources we’ve created to date – the PDA-Affirming Provider List. We have spoken to every provider on this list and confirmed that they are indeed PDA-affirming as well as LGBTQ+ affirming.
The list also includes all providers that are recognized by PDA North America as having taken the Certificate Program we offer. All other providers listed have given us permission to be listed.
To note: PDA North America is sharing names of trained individuals as a helpful resource. We do not specifically endorse or take responsibility for any individual listed on this list.
If you are a PDA-affirming provider that would like to be added to this list please fill out the form linked below.
If you would like your listing edited or removed, please contact Molly Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org – Thanks!
PDA North America Support Groups
PDA North America helps facilitate many PDA Support groups throughout the USA and Canada. Support Groups are free to join, and volunteer-led. If you have any interest in joining a support group, leading/creating a new one, whether you’re a PDA person, or parent/caregiver of a PDAer, please fill out this quick survey. After you do, our Support Group Coordinator, Lara Johnson, will be in touch shortly.
If you have any additional questions regarding Support Groups, please reach out to Lara Johnson at Lara@pdanorthamerica.org
PDA Community Outreach List
PDA North America does not vet this list nor do we endorse anyone on this list. This list is created by and for the PDA community and extended community of caretakers/parents/family members.
We have compiled a library of links where you can find content and information in the field of PDA. Our list is ever growing so please check regularly for updates.
PDA North America is sharing names of trained individuals as a helpful resource.
We do not specifically endorse or take responsibility for any individual listed on this site.
Diane Gould Therapy – View
PDA Society UK – View
Kristy Forbes – View
Sally Cat PDA – View
Amanda Diekman – Low Demand Parenting View
Casey Ehrlich PhD – At Peace Parents View
No Pressure PDA View
Dr. Mona Delahooke, Pediatric Psychologist – https://monadelahooke.com/
Studio3 – View
Autism Awareness Centre Inc – View
PDA Mama Bear – View
Zach Morris – Alive At Learn – View
Dr. Lori Desautels – View
Tomlin Wilding – View
Riko’s Blog – View
What Is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)?
PDA is becoming widely recognized in other countries to be a profile on the autism spectrum thanks to The PDA Society (UK) and PDA emissaries like Kristy Forbes and Ruth Fidler. However, US and Canada are still at an early stage in our understanding and PDA research is in its infancy.
While autism is a widely recognized term our understanding of the full breadth and complexity of the autism spectrum is still evolving. The National Autistic Society explains autism as, “a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world.” Many autistic advocates embrace the neurodiversity concept, where a range of neurological differences is viewed as being part of a natural human variation.
We know that autism is dimensional – it involves a complex and overlapping pattern of strengths, differences and challenges that present differently from one individual to another and in the same individual over time or in different environments.
A cluster of traits can be called a presentation or a profile – in some cases this can be quite different from what some people think autism ‘looks like’.
This can lead to presentations in some people – including autistic women and girls, and PDA individuals – being missed altogether, misunderstood or misdiagnosed, which can in turn lead to poor outcomes.
All research points to early identification and tailored support being the best predictor of positive long-term outcomes. Recognizing these profiles helps identify signposts the approaches or support that will be most helpful for each individual.
A PDA profile of autism means that individuals share autistic characteristics …
persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction,” and, “restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, activities or interests,” present since early childhood to the extent that these, “limit and impair everyday functioning,” (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fifth Edition, DSM-5)
often including a different sensory experience in relation to sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, vestibular, proprioception and interoception.
… and also:
have a need for control which is anxiety related
are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations (including things that they want to do or enjoy) to an extreme extent
tend to use approaches that are ‘social in nature’ in order to avoid demands
present with many of the ‘key features’ of PDA rather than just one or two
tend not to respond to conventional parenting, teaching or support approaches
Source: The PDA Society