Centre of Excellence Pathological Demand Avoidance Diploma Course Centre of Excellence

Course details

The course begins by covering what Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is and how to recognise the features and characteristics of a person who has it. The differences between PDA and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) are highlighted and the process of getting a PDA diagnosis is defined.

The course explores the history of pathological demand avoidance, which only became a named condition in the 1980s and has only quite recently (2000 onwards) gained more focus and awareness, and introduces key figures within the field. You will read through 2 cases studies and a parent's insight, to give you a better understanding of PDA and what living with a child with the condition is like.

As a pervasive developmental disorder that often co-occurs with the diagnosis of autism, it is important that you understand what it means to be on the autism spectrum. The Pathological Demand Avoidance Diploma Course explains the characteristics and difficulties that can occur with autism, how it is diagnosed and covers Asperger syndrome - a milder form of autism.

Many, if not all, people on the autistic spectrum also suffer from sensory processing disorder (SPD) to varying degrees. You will learn more about SPD, the signs that may indicate specific difficulties a child may be having, and gain an understanding of what it is like to have sensory processing disorder.

As with other autism spectrum disorder profiles, pathological demand avoidance is dimensional, so its effects can be greater or lesser in each individual. No matter the severity of the condition, it is still important to be able to identify the triggers and have strategies in place to avoid these or provide the right kind of support when they do occur.

This course provides advice and guidance to parents, siblings, and educators on how to get the most from a child with the condition. You will also learn the benefits of working with a Key Worker and the key skills and strategies they will need to help a child with PDA to reach their full potential.


  • Module 1 - What is Pathological Demand Avoidance?
  • Module 2 - The History of PDA
  • Module 3 - Understanding Autism
  • Module 4 - Parent Information & Strategies
  • Module 5 - PDA in Schools and Effective Strategies
  • Module 6 - The Role of the Key Worker
  • Module 7 - Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Module 8 - The Formal PDA Assessment Process and Adults with PDA & Autism
  • Module 9 - Setting up a Business & Next Steps
Updated on 27 January, 2019

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