DEMAND AVOIDANCE PHENOMENA: IS ALL DEMAND AVOIDANCE IRRATIONAL & HOW USEFUL IS THE CONSTRUCT AT PLUGGING THE GAP CREATED BY THE DSM-5?
This is a short blog post to provide some updates on my current thinking on the nature of Demand Avoidance Phenomena (DAP, often called Pathological Demand Avoidance). Lately, I have made significant changes in my views on the construct, such as suggesting a new diagram to demonstrate how its nature.
I currently view DAP as a new type of disorder that is not part of the autism spectrum. DAP seems to be Elizabeth Newson’s “Pervasive Developmental Coding Disorder”. You can find out more here:
I was in discussions with a DAP specialising clinician when I asked exactly how many autistic persons would their conceptualisation of it help? Then I realised there is a way to have a reasonable estimate of how many autistic persons it might be helping. This is based on the notions that DAP are needed to help expand our definitions of autism, so that those not conforming to autism stereotypes receive an autism diagnosis (if one accepts DAP as an autism profile, which I do not). So I posted a thread on twitter about how we can simply gain these figures. As part of the subsequent debate I pointed out I am not the one who is arbitrarily dividing persons with DAP and expressed this by highlighting a key flaw in Help4Psychology PDA definitions to create their “Rational Demand Avoidance” group. This is a group of autistic CYP who start to display PDA behaviour around age of 6 often due to aversive school experiences. I explain that the Help4Psychology definitions for PDA are arbitrary as many autistic persons, especially these young CYP would not be able to rationalise their demand avoidance. Ergo any definition on their demand avoidance is arbitrary and that this “Rational Demand Avoidance” group can be legitimately viewed as DAP.
I am due to publish another list of published DAP articles soon.
Is all demand avoidance irrational in nature and how useful is DAP at plugging the gap created by the DSM-5 not diagnosing those who non-conforming to autism stereotypes?
I have attached the thread the nature of demand avoidance here:
I have attached the thread around how useful DAP is at filling gaps created by the DSM-5 here:
If you have any questions, please do contact me.
My latest research.
My most recent conference paper is:
- Is the concept of Demand Avoidance Phenomena (Pathological Demand Avoidance) real or mythical?
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 DAP Conference.
A follow up was later published in Good Autism Practice:
- Pathological Demand Avoidance and the DSM-5: a rebuttal to Judy Eaton’s response.
Furthermore, I have DAP article published in Child & Adolescent Mental Health.
- Commentary: Demand Avoidance Phenomena, a manifold issue? Intolerance of uncertainty and anxiety as explanatory frameworks for extreme demand avoidance in children and adolescents – a commentary on Stuart et al. (2019).
Additionally, I and others have had a short essay published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders:
- Empathy and a Personalised Approach in Autism.
A book chapter describing what the sub-discipline Critical Autism Studies is, I lead authored it and it can be found here (chapter seems free to access):
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: