Recently on twitter I was asked if there is a book containing relevant critique of PDA, i.e. is there a text book containing critical perspectives on the topic. Alas, no such book exists. However, over the last several days I have been wracked with the idea of an anthology of articles that not does inherently support the main PDA discourse (PDA is a form of autism and has its own distinct strategies etc.). Theoretically it is possible such a book can be produced, for instance Damian Milton has published an anthology of his own work, here:


While discussing this topic with potential contributors, it was mentioned a Call for Papers for a book containing work from other authors and on different areas. So here we are. To be clear, there is a growing demand for PDA literature, most of the books coming out just assume PDA is a form of autism and do not critically engage with the topic. While there are a growing number of articles challenging PDA, there is no book challenging this; so such a Critical Perspectives of PDA book will almost certainly become core reading on the topic.


Call for Abstracts.

I am seeking abstracts for potential chapters on Critical Perspectives of PDA. The word limit on the chapters will likely be around several thousand words. The book should have 2 distinct themes, Psychopathology perspectives of PDA and Critical Autism Studies perspectives of PDA. For the first theme, possible chapters could cover:

  • Critical reviews of the experience of discomfort within and beyond autism.
  • Critical reviews of regulation of emotion within and beyond autism.
  • Critical reviews of behavioural resistance/avoidance within as well as beyond autism.
  • How does PDA fit into historic debates of autism, such as autism being viewed as a form of schizophrenia?


For the Critical Autism Studies theme, will be based of this definition by Mitzi Waltz:


“The ‘criticality’ comes from investigating power dynamics that operate in Discourses around autism, questioning deficit-based definitions of autism, and being willing to consider the ways in which biology and culture intersect to produce ‘disability’. (Waltz, 2014, 1337)”.


Suitable chapters could cover topics such as:

  • How do the education system and wider Special Educational Needs and Disability systems contribute to the growth of PDA.
  • Poor scientific evidence for PDA.
  • The unwanted side effects of PDA.
  • How has autism charities contributed to the growth of PDA?
  • Critical reviews of the PDA strategies.


I would welcome submissions based on work that has been published or not. For instance, I would be particularly interested in chapters based on the conference papers of Kaushik et al (2015), and Sanchez (2018).


I would also welcome submissions discussing the benefits of PDA, the criteria for this; is that one must not automatically assume PDA is a form of autism, yet, submissions can argue it is a form of autism.


The abstracts need to be 300 words or less (excluding references) and a title.  The deadline for submissions is Sunday the 22nd of March 2020. Please can you send the abstracts to me at


A brief timeline of this project.

I need to admit I have never edited a book before or submitted a book proposal. So this is my best guess at how the project should pan out.

Activity. Date.
Call for Papers. 22nd of March 2020.
Review of abstracts. April 2020.
Authors contacted if their submissions will be included in the Book Proposal. May 2020.
Book Proposal is submitted. May 2020.
Assuming book proposal is accepted authors are informed and given 12 months to write their chapter. August/ September 2020.
Editors receive completed chapters and then review them. September 2021.
Authors receive feedback and potential requests for revisions. October 2021.
Authors send completed revisions. December 2021.
Final book is sent for copy editing, pagination and indexing (If funding is available, Nick Chown will probably be asked to do this). December 2021.
Book is published. First half of 2022.


These timings could change depending on what happens in the future.



Thank you for reading this blog post and I look forward to receiving your abstracts and titles, or queries about this project, at


My latest research.

I have recently had a commentary article published in Good Autism Practice:

–           Demand avoidance phenomena: circularity, integrity and validity – a commentary on the 2018 National Autistic Society PDA Conference.

Additionally, I and others have had a short essay published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders:

–           Empathy and a Personalised Approach in Autism.


I have added conference papers from my recent talks to my researchgate, which can be accessed via the link below:

I have other works submitted or in press, so watch this space.


Autism Policy and Practice.

The autistic-led good practice journal, Autism Policy and Practice has published its first edition under the current editor team. This can be accessed via the link below:


Grace Trundle’s DAP research.

As part of a postgraduate course at the University of Nottingham, a research study into social skills is being conducted! The purpose of the study is to investigate social processes in risky behaviour.


The results of the study will help clinical researchers better understand social and personal skills associated with offending and victimisation.


The study involves several questionnaires looking at behaviour, experiences, and characteristics, which will take around 30 minutes to complete. If you would like to take part in the study, you will be provided with all the study information and asked to sign a consent form allowing the researchers to access and use your anonymous data. Taking part in the study is voluntary, and you can change your mind at any point during the study. No personal information will be collected. Your responses to the questionnaires will be anonymous and only the researcher and supervisor will have access to the data provided.


If you are interested in taking part in the study, please click the link:


If you have any questions, please contact any of the following:

Grace Trundle (


Dr Vincent Egan (Vincent.egan@nottingham)



Kaushik, A., Ozsivadjian, A., Baird, G., Kyriakopoulos, M., & Absoud, M. (2015). Extreme Demand Avoidance: towards a dimensional approach in children presenting with complex neurodevelopmental disorders and avoidance of demands. Paper presented at Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Conference. Brighton, United Kingdom. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Sanchez, S. (2018). PDA & Parenting: A critical-insider perspective on PDA and parenting (Conference Paper). Retrieved from: (Accessed 05 January 2020).

Waltz, M. (2014). Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference. Disability & Society, 29, (8) 1337–1338.

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