An Introduction to PDA with Clare Truman

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is considered to be a profile within autism and it presents as an overwhelming need to resist and avoid the ordinary demands of life.  The PDA Society estimates that 70% of PDA children and young people are not in school, arguing that this is because their needs are not being met.

Clare Truman joins Dale for her first SENDcast episode ‘An Introduction to PDA’. We discuss:

  • What is PDA and what do we know about it, so far?
  • How to prioritise and present demands for PDA learners
  • How to reduce anxiety for PDA learners
  • How to follow the PDA learner’s lead in learning
  • The difference between PDA and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

By listening to this episode, you will gain valuable insights on how to provide better support for children and young people with PDA and help them re-engage with education.  

Useful Links

Book: The Teacher’s Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance: Essential Strategies for the Classroom published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers 

Journal Article: Clare Truman, Laura Crane, Patricia Howlin & Elizabeth Pellicano (2021): The educational experiences of autistic children with and without extreme demand avoidance behaviours, International Journal of Inclusive Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2021.1916108 


Clare Truman photo

About Clare Truman

Clare Truman is an education consultant, special education teacher and big sister to an autistic young man. From 2017 to 2019, she was director of Spectrum Space Community Interest Company; a social enterprise and alternative education provision based in Surrey which specialised in supporting autistic children who display Pathological Demand Avoidance. She now provides distance learning packages for students with PDA who find it difficult to access school. Clare is currently completing a PhD at UCL London exploring the educational experiences of PDA learners. She is author of The Teacher’s Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance: Essential Strategies for the Classroom published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Contact Clare

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