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How is Pathological Demand Avoidance diagnosed?

Pathological Demand Avoidance can be provisionally diagnosedin the preschool years, however, it is more difficult to diagnose than Autism as the child normally shows more social interest, increased imaginative play and more age appropriate language than that of Autistic children. This can lead to many children not being diagnosed until they are older.

A diagnosis of Pathological Demand Avoidance is normally made by a health professional such as a paediatrician or child psychologist. By providing an individual with a correct diagnosis of Pathological Demand Avoidance, it will enable them and their families to have an understanding of why they experience certain difficulties, and can also begin the process of obtaining professional help. This will then allow individuals to access appropriate support and services that can provide them with advice about management strategies.

Below is a list of common criteria used to assist health professionals when diagnosing Pathological demand avoidance:

  • Early history of passive behaviour in the first year of life - the child will often have delayed developmental milestones. When more demands are place on the child they tend to become actively passive, with strong objections to normal demands.
  • As the chi