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An update from Julie Stockdale
Bidding for special free schools
Best practice forum
PKM training – introduction to FFT Aspire
Wastebuster update
Pathological Demand Avoidance
Health and safety
Education safeguarding update
Engaging all parents
Specialised first aid course
Squash taster lessons
Surrey post 16 area review
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Pathological Demand Avoidance

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a term which has been rapidly rising in public awareness, not least through TV shows such as ‘Born Naughty’ and organisations such as the National Autistic Society.  

What is PDA?   

Perhaps the best way of thinking about PDA is as a way of describing a range of anxiety driven behaviours where the child or young person seeks to talk their way out of or avoid everyday seemingly reasonable requests, to an extent that this demand avoidant behaviour can become debilitating for the young person.  

Surrey County Council has become aware that families have been receiving conflicting messages about diagnosis and support available for PDA. For this reason, the council organised a discussion group with Consultant Child Psychologist Phil Christie, from the Elizabeth Newsome Centre, a facility for the families of children with developmental communication disorders. A variety of different services and organisations were represented.  

Coming out of the first meeting was a joint position statement which provides clarity about the recognition of PDA in Surrey:  

“PDA does not appear as a separate diagnostic condition in nationally and internationally recognised diagnostic manuals such as DSM-V or ICD-10. For this reason, NHS professionals in Surrey do not make this separate diagnosis. However, we do recognise that this profile of behaviours exists within the autism spectrum and that often the children and young people respond better to a more flexible and non-confrontational set of personalised strategies.”

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