Supporting PDA with Clare Truman

A few months ago, we had an insightful episode where Clare Truman introduced and explained PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance). Today, Clare has returned to share valuable advice on how to support PDA learners. The PDA Society estimates that 70% of PDA children and young people are not currently attending school due to their needs not being adequately met. It is crucial to address this issue and provide the necessary support. Clare’s expertise in this area is invaluable, and her insights can make a significant difference in the lives of PDA learners.

Clare emphasises the importance of groundwork and adapting learning methods to suit PDA learners while ensuring the safety of everyone involved. Shifting our mindset and adopting a collaborative approach is key. It is essential to reduce anxiety for individuals with a PDA profile, so providing clear instructions without overwhelming demands is vital.

During the episode, Clare shares practical tips that can greatly benefit PDA learners. Some of these include:

  • Implementing a visual timetable with a pre-set list of alternatives.
  • Using instruction sheets that allow space for better ideas.
  • Regulating breaks to promote self-regulation.
  • Teaching the learner the distinction between learning objectives and activities.
  • Prioritising demands by using post-it notes.

Listen to learn more about these strategies and how by offering choices and minimising demands, we can create a supportive and inclusive environment for PDA learners.

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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