Tuesday, 16 April 2024
Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Special needs charity delivering workshop for families living with little-known condition

EXPERT support and advice for a little-known condition that can lead to extreme avoidance of everyday demands and expectations is set to be held in Derby. 

The Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) workshop is set to be held at Sunshine Support’s hub, in Derby, on Friday, August 25. The full day of learning will cover everything from diagnosis and home management to the involvement of social care and gaining a suitable education provision. 

PDA is not a diagnosis in itself, but rather a specific presentation or profile on the autism spectrum. A main characteristic is the avoidance of everyday demands, even including things that may be enjoyed or preferred, and persistent difficulties with social communication and interactions.  

Other characteristics include the need for control which is often a response to extreme levels of anxiety, and those with the PDA profile of autism tend not to respond to conventional parenting, teaching or support. Although research into the condition is still in the early stages, the PDA Society has said that it is estimated that one in five people with autism may have the profile.  

The workshop will include presentations from the PDA Society, along with Cathie Long, who is an award-winning specialist independent social worker; Libby Hill, and award-winning consultant speech and language specialist; and Liz O’Nions who is a post-doctoral clinical researcher. 

Research from The PDA Society recently revealed that 70% of children with a PDA profile of autism are not in school or regularly struggle to attend.

Chrissa Wadlow, founder of Sunshine Support and advocate for School Avoidance Strikes that will take place nationwide next month, said: 

Research into PDA and how those with this condition are affected is still at an early stage. We are thrilled to see more and more experts in the field leading the way in further study.”

“We are delighted to have Libby, Cathie and Liz joining us for what promises to be an insightful and informative session for families and education professionals in Derby and Derbyshire.”  

Demand avoidance means not being able to do certain things at certain times, rather than it being an active choice. Often, a person who experiences demand avoidance will have developed a wide range of methods to circumvent compliance.

The in-person workshop, aimed at parents and professionals, will include breakfast and lunch and will run from 9am to 6pm. Places are limited and tickets can be booked by visiting: PDA – A Full-day Intensive Workshop Tickets, Fri 25 Aug 2023 at 09:30 | Eventbrite. 

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