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Occupational Therapy for Pathological Demand Avoidance

Occupational Therapy for PDA is concerned with the assessment and development of a variety of skills that will enhance the individual’s ability to learn and function. These skills include:

  • Sensory processing
  • Gross motor
  • Fine motor
  • Social interaction
  • Coping and self-management

Occupational Therapy treatment may be difficult due to the demand avoidance tendencies of the child with Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Occupational Therapy treatment will begin with an evaluation of the individual's functioning in a variety of age-appropriate performance areas. Interventions will then be formulated to target any affected skills.

Occupational Therapy will aim to use games in a fun and encouraging manner to enhance, motivate, improve, maintain and restore skill development. It can also offer any creative modifications, adaptations and relevant assistive devices if required.

Occupational Therapists will use a variety of treatment approaches including:

  • Play
  • Developmental and learning theories
  • Behavioural interventions
  • Sensory integration
  • Models of occupational performance

The choice of interventions will depend upon the specific needs of the individual. The child may respond well to 'play' treatments as they may not recognise the interventions as demands placed upon them.

The occupational therapist will work closely with other professionals and parents / carers to provide support and advice on how best to manage everyday tasks that the individual with Pathological Demand Avoidance is finding difficult.

If you feel that you would benefit from our occupational therapy service and would like to arrange an assessment with one of our occupational therapists please contact us by emailing or calling 0330 088 6693.

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You can also get in touch by calling us on 0330 088 6693, or you can email us on

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