Sunday, October 10, 2021

What is Pathological demand avoidance?

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA), a term coined in the 1980s by Elizabeth Newson, refers to behavior exhibited by individuals (although the focus of interest is largely children) that is characterized as an extreme resistance to the ordinary demands of everyday life, with a tendency to resort to “socially manipulative” behavior, including outrageous or embarrassing acts.

PDA is considered to be part of the autism spectrum. The distinctive features of a demand avoidant profile include:
*An obsessive resistance to ordinary demands and requests
*Uses social strategies as part of avoidance, for example, distracting, giving excuses
*Be socially manipulative (100% by age of 5)
*Show normal eye contact
*Sudden changes in mood apparently associated with a need to control
*Show social mimicry (including gesture)
*Show role play (more extended and complete than mimicry)
*Appears comfortable in role play and pretending
*Show other types of symbolic play
*Be female (50%)
*Displays obsessive behavior that is often focused on other people

Some people with PDA enjoy making others happy or surprising them by doing things that they know they would like. However, if we ask or remind them to do these things, we take away their ability to demonstrate kindness and consideration for others. This can be very upsetting, particularly for people who experience social difficulties. This can mean they are unable to complete the task.
What is Pathological demand avoidance?

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