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How is Pathological Demand Avoidance Treated?

There is no cure for PDA. Treatment interventions can be difficult for individuals with PDA as the nature of the disorder means that the individual is obsessively concerned with avoiding any demands placed upon them, including treatment methods. Wording of demands is important; they must be indirect in nature and are often more effective if they are short and not confusing.

Therapists working with individuals with PDA are prepared for avoidance tactics and strategies to overcome avoidance demands. It is important that individuals are provided with plenty of time to enable them to process information. If an individual with PDA performs a task correctly they should be praised to emphasise their personal qualities, failure should not be recognised as this will reinforce this behaviour. Assessments will be used to identify problems or difficulties in the following areas:

  • Communication skills - expressive and receptive language
  • Social skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Motor skills - gross and fine
  • Learning ability

PDA can be treated by a number of professionals within a multi-therapy approach. Professionals who are often involved in the assessment and treatment of individuals with PDA include: