With it a being a week until the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) PDA event (Milton 2018), I am updating the list of articles for those attending who wish to be familiar with the PDA literature. Those wishing to attend the event need to email Damian Milton to ensure access to the event. Additionally, I am listing journals where PDAers (those believed to have PDA) could submit their articles into.


Updated List of PDA Articles.

1 2003 Newson et al. Pathological demand avoidance syndrome: a necessary distinction within the PDD. Archives of Disease in Childhood.
2 2003 Garralda. Pathological demand avoidance syndrome or psychiatric disorder? Archives of Disease in Childhood.
3 2005 Jones. Developing independence through the use of a colour-coded system with PDA. Good Autism Practice.
4 2007 Christie. Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome: Guidelines for Good Practice Good Autism Practice.
5 2011 Harvey The Educational Issues for the child with a diagnosis of Pathological Demand Avoidance Good Autism Practice.
6 2011 Gould & Ashton-Smith. Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis? Girls and women on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice.
7 2011 Carlile. Helping your child with PDA to play: eight strategies for PDA. Good Autism Practice.
8 2012 Eaton & Banting. Adult diagnosis of pathological demand avoidance – subsequent care planning Learning Disabilities Offending
9 2013 Milton. ‘Natures answer to over-conformity’: deconstructing PDA. Book chapter in 2017. Autism Experts.
10 2013 Sinson. Understanding pathological demand avoidance in children: book review. Educational Psychology in Practice
11 2013 Grahame. Understanding pathological demand avoidance in children: book review. Child Adolescent Ment Health
12 2014 Saunders. Understanding pathological demand avoidance in children: book review. Int Journal of Primary Ed
13 2014 O’Nions et al. Development of the EDA-Q for PDA traits measurement. Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
14 2014 O’Nions et al. Pathological demand avoidance: Exploring the behavioural profile. Autism.
15 2014 Gillberg. Public display of affection or pathological demand avoidance? Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
16 2015 Gillberg et al. PDA: a general population study in the Faroe Islands Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry.
17 2015 Reilly et al. PDA in a population cohort of children with epilepsy: Four case studies. Research in Dev Disabilities.
18 2016 O’Nions et al. Identifying PDA using the DISCO. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry.
19 2016 Langton & Frederickson Mapping the educational experiences of children with PDA. Journal of Research of SEN.
20 2016 Davis Can I tell you about PDA: book review. Good Autism Practice.
21 2016 Langton and Frederickson Parents’ experiences of professionals’ involvement for children with PDA. International Journal Dev Dis.
22 2017 Trundle et al. Differentiating between PDA and antisocial personality disorder: a case study. Learning Disabilities Offending
23 2017 Woods. PDA: my thoughts on looping effects and commodification of autism. Disability and Society.
24 2017 O’Nions, Happe and Viding. Extreme/’pathological’ demand avoidance. BPS DECP Debate 160.
25 2017 Brede et al. Excluded from school: Autistic students exclusion and re-integration experiences. Autism & Dev Language Impairments.
26 2017 Flackhill et al. Coventry Grid Interview: Exploring autism and attachment difficulties. Good Autism Practice.
27 2017 O’Nions et al. PDA: Dimensions of difficulty in children with Autism + PDA Traits. Child and Adol Mental Health
28 2018 Philip & Contejean. The syndrome of pathological avoidance of requests: translated into English. Neuropsych Child & Adolescent
29 2018 Green et al. Pathological Demand Avoidance: symptoms but not a syndrome Lancet Child & Adol Health


The articles that have autistic authors are marked by using bold and italics.


Description of articles added and critique of how the PDA literature is evolving.

I have added 4 more articles to the list, despite there being no new articles published since the last version of the list. I have found 2 more PDA articles in O’Nions et al (2017) & Brede et al (2017), the former discusses types of demand avoidance behaviour and the latter educational experiences of PDAer pupils after they have been initially excluded. I have added Gould and Ashton-Smith (2011) and Flackhill et al (2017) to the list as they debate the nature of PDA and introduce crucial points into the PDA debate such as PDA as a female form of autism (Gould and Ashton-Smith 2011) and that PDA could be a form of attachment disorder (Flackhill et al 2017). In future I will add more articles that discuss PDA to the list if they are relevant to the debate. There seems to be a bifurcation forming in the PDA literature between those articles which claim PDA is a part of autism spectrum without referring to its contested nature (Brede et al 2017; O’Nions et al 2017; Trundle et al 2017), running contrarily to growing critique of PDA (Flackhill et al 2017;  Green et al 2018; Woods 2017).  In the future articles that discuss PDA, should include “Pathological Demand Avoidance” as a key word if it is not included in the title, to aid literature searches. With the paucity of PDA literature, there is little excuse for authors to be ignorant on the current conflicting interpretations of PDA & represent this in their work. Subsequently it raises ethical concerns if authors claim PDA is an accepted/ recognised part of the autism spectrum without including its other conflicting ontologies.


Journals where PDAers can publish their own articles.

In order for PDAers to have their work published they must meet the aims & scopes of the journal, along with their work being to academic standard. The list of journals which provide spaces for autistic persons to get their voice into the academic literature are:

  • Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies. Pease see the link below for more details.



General advise when writing an article and choosing an appropriate journal, is to be aware of the audience each journal has and the politics of the journal. Good Autism Practice appears to be a pro-PDA journal, which is reflected in it publishing 24% of PDA articles and readers are explicitly recommended to read it the key PDA text book (Christie et al 2012). This could be due to Good Autism Practice target audience being clinicians and parents; that are 2 stakeholder groups pushing the growth in PDA (Christie 2007; Christie et al 2012). It is possible the Good Autism Practice editor team may reject this observation, conversely Phil Christie (Christie 2018) is an editor for the journal; the conflict of interest present is clear. Picking a suitable journal for your work is crucial step in the process of getting an article published, however it is hard work and the feedback that you will receive may appear harsh. Most reviewers’ feedback is there to improve the article, so it is worth acting on it where possible. Contrastingly, sometimes reviewers will reject an article because it goes against their views or agenda, which is why picking an appropriate journal is pivotal to getting an article published. I look forward to reading future PDAer authored articles.


Plans for future blog posts.

I have a few blog posts lined for the next coming months;  such as further updates to the list the of published articles, in particular I have been informed to expect my article Pathological Demand Avoidance: Is it time to move beyond the pathological need to not to develop more inclusive pedagogical practices? Is shortly to be published in Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies. Further works include publishing a rejected article and links to materials that are relevant to the PARC PDA event and a blog post exploring how parts of the PDA community are acting like cult. Possibly, there may be significant interest in the later 2 blog posts.


Latest article published.

I and others have a new article published Critical Autism Studies: a more Inclusive Interpretation, which can be viewed at the link below:



Autism Policy and Practice Call for Papers.

The autistic-led (emancipatory) good practice journal Autism Policy and Practice has issued a call for papers available at the link below:



Grace Trundle’s Call Research Participants.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between Autism, ADHD, and personality and PDA. It also examines the relationship between PDA, conflict with the law, impulsivity, and emotionality. We are striving to further understanding of the aetiology of PDA.

The link to the study is – https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/individual-differences-autism-spectrum-disorder-and-patho-2



Brede, J., et al., 2017. Excluded from school: Autistic students’ experiences of school exclusion and subsequent re-integration into school. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, 2, 1 – 20.

Christie, P., 2007. The Distinctive Clinical and Educational Needs of Children with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome: Guidelines for Good Practice. Good Autism Practice, 8 (1), 3-11.

Christie, P., 2018. Autism Associates (online). Nottingham: Autism Associates. Available at: http://www.autismassociates.co.uk/ (Accessed 07 May 2018).

Christie, P., et al., 2012. Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Flackhill, C., et al., 2017. The Coventry Grid Interview (CGI): exploring autism and attachment difficulties. Good Autism Practice, 18 (1), 62 – 80.

Gould, J. and Ashton-Smith, J., 2011. Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis? Girls and women on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice, 12 (1), 34 – 41.

Green, J., et al., 2018. Pathological Demand Avoidance: symptoms but not a syndrome. Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30044-0

Milton, D., 2018. Critical Perspectives on Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) (online).United Kingdom: Participatory Autism Research Collective. Available at: https://participatoryautismresearch.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/critical-perspectives-on-pathological-demand-avoidance-pda/ (Accessed 07 May 2018).

O’Nions, L., et al., 2017. Dimensions of difficulty in children reported to have an autism spectrum diagnosis and features of extreme/‘pathological’ demand avoidance. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12242

Woods, R., 2017. Pathological demand avoidance: my thoughts on looping effects and commodification of autism. Disability & Society, 34 (5), 753-758.

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