Top 5 Books about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

What is PDA?

PDA is defined by the PDA Society as ‘a profile on the autism spectrum, involving the avoidance of everyday demands and the use of ‘social’ strategies as part of this avoidance’. The PDA Society have some fantastic resources, videos and webinars about PDA that are well worth looking up.

I was very fortunate to record a podcast episode recently on Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) with the PDA Society for my podcast ‘SEND in the expert with Georgina Durrant‘ for Twinkl Resources. If you’ve not already listened to it, you can find it here (or on any podcast provider of your choice)

I’ve been having a read of lots of books lately about PDA and wanted to highlight 5 of my favourites. (If there are any brilliant books about PDA that I’m not aware of and have missed off, please feel free to let me know)

The Family Experience of PDA

This is an absolutely brilliant book. I know of parents of PDAers who have bought this book and then passed it round their extended family and friends to help ensure everyone in their circle understands their child better. What a fantastic resource. Buy it here.

I’m not Upside Down, I’m Downside Up. If you’re looking for a book that helps explain PDA from the point of view of someone with a PDA profile, then this book written by Harry Thompson and Danielle Jata-Hall is the one to choose. It’s written from the point of view of a PDA girl called Ariana and is a brilliant insight into the ‘world’ of PDA, helping readers to understand PDA better. It makes a great read for parents, family and teachers of young people with a PDA profile as well as PDA young people themselves; who might be learning about their own diagnosis. Buy it here


The Teacher’s Introduction to Pathological Demand Avoidance

Written by Claire Truman this book is a ‘must-have’ resource for teachers of PDA children and young people. It is packed full of information on everything from how PDA can impact on school life to really useful strategies to better support PDA learners in schools. I learnt so much from reading this book and even though its aimed at teachers, I’d also recommend it to parents too. Buy it here

Collaborative Approaches to Learning for Pupils with PDA

This book is another ‘must have’ for teachers of children and young people with a PDA profile. The book gives an overview of PDA, goes through the diagnosis profile for PDA and explains how collaborative approaches are effective for supporting children and young people with a PDA profile in education. I’d thoroughly recommend this book to ALL schools. Buy it here

The PDA Paradox: The Highs and Lows of My Life on a Little Known Part of the Autism Spectrum.

Another brilliant book about PDA by Harry Thompson. The PDA Paradox is an autobiography of his life so far as an autistic person with a PDA profile. This book is ideal for any parent/teacher who would like to learn more about PDA and get a real life insight into what it’s like to be a PDA’er. Buy it here.

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