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Can I Tell You About Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome? ISBN: 9781849055130
Christie, Phil, Fidler, Ruth and Powell, Jonathon
Published by Jessica Kingsley, 2015
Part of the Autism spectrum, Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome or PDA is not as well-known as some other syndromes, but shares many of the same difficulties as autism and Aspergers. We meet eleven year old Issy, who has PDA and tells us all about her experience of it. She finds it very stressful to do things that people tell her or ask her to do. Some days are better than others. She tells us that her life is like going down a stony path, when some days going down it hurts her feet and other days feel like she is ‘in comfy slippers and can walk over the stones easily’. She has support at school, and friends too, but even there, come times when anger and serious anxiety get the better of her and she has a major meltdown. These spells can go on for hours at times. She gives us a simple explanation of just what the terms mean: demand avoidance means ‘We avoid the demands that we feel’ and ‘pathological’ means that ‘we do this much, much more than other people.’ Issy has a friend Alfie, who has PDA too, and we hear that he can get quite violent in his interactions with others. Issy can as well, but not so often. Issy’s parents and teachers have learned techniques which can help avoid her stress and anxiety, and there is an excellent section at the back of the book which explains some of these. There are also lists of recommended reading, organisations and web sites. The black and white illustrations help make the complicated information easier to digest, and as Issy says, ‘PDA makes me different from people without PDA, but it is also part of my way of being who I am…but I would like to find it easier to fit in and get better at managing my temper. I’m sure my family and teachers will be able to help me.’ Available from Amazon, from book shops, and from the publisher:
Age: 7+