PDA position statement – updated version

An updated version of the joint PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) position statement is now available.

The statement was due its yearly review by APRIG, which is the Autism Pathway Review and Implementation Group, where it was agreed that several updates to the statement would be helpful. Parent carers were part of the working group which had the task of seeking feedback and considering, reviewing, and agreeing the updates, and we’re grateful to everyone who contributed.

PDA – East Sussex Position Statement Final Dec 23 (PDF)

The main message to convey is that the position of the PDA statement has not changed. PDA is still recognised and there is no intention of this changing.

What’s new?
  • Links to the PDA Society are now included for its wealth of up-to-date knowledge, information, and lived experience
  • The more internalised or passive presentations, and/or masked or variable presentations of PDA are cited in the description of what a PDA profile might look like
  • CAMHS practitioners are signed up to the statement

The original position statement was co-produced and published in September 2020 by ESPCF, ISEND (now known as part of Education East Sussex) and East Sussex Community Paediatrics.

As we’ve said previously, we’re pleased that this review process has also been genuinely co-productive, with parent carer voice being equally valued throughout, and it’s great to have worked with some passionate practitioners, including a clinical psychologist, consultant paediatrician and educational psychologist, as well as a senior manager from within Education East Sussex.

Consideration is being given to whether any training might be needed to ensure everyone carrying out assessments is confident to do so and to help ensure consistent practice is applied. We’ll share any updates on this, and would welcome any feedback from families whose child or young person has had an autism assessment where a PDA profile was a consideration, so we can understand how things are being put into practice on the ground. Likewise, please let us know how schools are, or aren’t, responding around the recognition of, and support for, PDA.

We hope the statement will help to empower families, as well as schools and services, so that PDA is better understood and results in children and young people’s needs being met as early as possible.