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demand avoidance anyone??

(6 Posts)
iwearflairs Thu 21-Aug-08 15:01:22

I've just been told by DS's SALT that his main difficulties come with something called demand avoidance. I'm so glad I now have a name for something I have been living with for 4 yrs.

We are about to have an assessment with psychologist but it isn't for another month and we won't get the report for another one after that and meanwhile I am really desperate to start helping him with it as I am sure I am not doing the right thing and am getting worried about how much trouble he is going to get into at school.

Does anyone know what the best way to respond to it is? It is difficult to get him to do anything - either he refuses or he makes it into a joke but either way he doesn't actually cooperate with most things.

Also, how does this separate out from finding transitions difficult - I don't know what to think anymore if he doesn't want to go somewhere I suggest.\

Any advice greatly appreciated.

eclipse Thu 21-Aug-08 19:40:21

Hi, iwearflairs,
You could look at a site called It's a parent support group for children who have been diagnosed with what's called 'pathological demand avoidance'. Much of it may not apply to your child but you might find the discussion forum helpful.

WedgiesMum Thu 21-Aug-08 21:26:28

Demand avoidance and PDA are rather different. My DS who has AS is highly demand avoidant but not pathologically so although I have worked with children with PDA. Unless I'm very wrong (and I could be) PDA is actually somewhere within the autism spectrum and demand avoidance is not necessarily accompanied by autistic traits. With my DS I have to make sure that his demand level is low (or at least he thinks it is) and try to avoid direct 'orders' to do things otherwise he will have a major meltdown.

School has been a nightmare in this respect for him as the demands on him to conform at all times are high (just simple things like sitting still on the carpet, get your pencil, choose an activity - can be a minefield) and it depends. The transition thing can be very trying and even if my DS is expecting a change when the time comes he can still refuse to comply and needs a while to get used to the idea - we always allow plenty of time to do anything!!!

The book I found most helpful when he was younger was called 'The Explosive Child' but can't remember who wrote it and I have lent it out so often to people I have now lost it! It is on Amazon though. There is lots of things I could say about this but I could go on for hours!. If you want to get in touch to talk further about this off board please feel free to email me at puttybrick at aol dot com.

Hope this has been a little helpful and if I can help further please feel free to contact me.

iwearflairs Fri 22-Aug-08 07:09:34

Thanks both of you -- that is an interesting website especially what they say about normal behavioural techniques not working!!

Wedgiesmum my DS is AS and demand avoidant but I think not pathological! also he has very little role play at all so does not quite fit that bill. It is interesting about keeping the demand level low - it is just the build up of direct orders that sets DS off most of the time so I am dreading school.

I have read The Explosive Child and it is interesting but wil read it with new eyes now that I know that it is about demand avoidance. I would love to get in touch off board so will do so anon, have to go now to relieve grandma...

crazyjimbob Tue 07-Oct-08 20:34:12

Hi, the person who wrote The Explosive Child is (I think!) Ross W Greene and it is worth reading by anyone whose child has issues controlling who are easily exploding and easily frustrated.

There is some new information about Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome on the National Autistic Society's website (NAS): see link

SaintRiven Wed 08-Oct-08 08:22:33

never heard of it but it sounds like dh. Can't get him to do anything!

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