Positive PDA

PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) is widely recognised as a profile on the autism spectrum. PDA individuals share characteristics with others on the spectrum but also have a distinct cluster of additional traits which focus around the avoidance of everyday demands and the use of ‘social’ strategies as part of this avoidance.

Whilst autism is a well-recognised term, our understanding of the full breadth and complexity of the autism spectrum is still evolving. Autism is dimensional, it involves a complex and overlapping pattern of strengths, differences and challenges that present differently from one individual to another; and in the same individual, over time or in different environments. A cluster of traits can be called a presentation or a profile – in some cases this can be quite different from what some people think autism ‘looks like’.

Recognising these profiles signposts the approaches or support that will be most helpful for each individual. The approach required for PDA individuals can differ greatly from the approach that may be taken with other autistic profiles, and so it is beneficial for families, educators, social workers and practitioners to be able to recognise and understand the nuances of PDA.

Virtual Summit 2020

The first ever virtual summit focusing on Pathological Demand Avoidance was held online between the 3rd and 7th July 2020. It brought together a varied range of professionals and experts working within the autism community, to promote the awareness of Pathological Demand Avoidance, known as PDA. Over 5 days, we presented 20 webinars, bonus content and question and answer sessions to over 4000 people from 45 countries over 6 continents. And all completely FREE!

The Summit brought together of 20 hand selected, leading experts on PDA; including, a senior solicitor, consultant speech and language therapist, educational psychologist, behavioural nurse, leading educational consultants, SEN business and marketing consultant, teachers, researchers therapists, as well as PDA parents and individuals, all with knowledge and insight into this specific neurodivergent profile.

Covering topics including parenting, bereavement, emotional regulation, behavioural management, holistic therapies, education, speech and language and SEN law, our speakers shared their professional expertise gathered over many years of listening, learning and developing tried and tested solutions and strategies to the challenges faced by PDA individuals. Many of our speakers are neuro-divergent themselves, offering valuable insights into the minds of those amazing PDA people that we love so much. This summit provided so much knowledge to help parents, families and professionals better understand and manage PDA. We have been absolutely blown away by your feedback and can’t wait to bring you another free event, even bigger and better!

Over 4000 Attendees
From 45 Countries
Over 6 Continents

You may have missed this incredible event, but you can still access all this event’s brilliant webinars. We have put together for you a package so that you can keep the advice of our speakers in your ‘Back Pocket’ with a pass that allows access to all 20 presentations and a bonus video from Sally Russell of the PDA Society, for up to an entire year. 

That’s 20 experts specifically discussing and providing insights and solution based strategies around Pathological Demand Avoidance for you to benefit from. As anyone who has ever sought help for PDA will know, this kind of advice can be hard to find and inevitably costs a small fortune.

Presentations At The Positive PDA Virtual Summit 2020

We want to thank all our amazing speakers who contributed their time and expertise and resources to this incredible event. We were able to help SO many people over the course of just 5 days. Discover more about our Virtual Summit 2020 speakers here, contact them and learn more about the resources they have that may be able to assist you, your family or your organisation.

Future Events

Positive PDA will no longer be producing future events. Nicola Louise is taking some time to learn about her own neurodivergence and develop her personal studies into autism and PDA. However Nicola Reekie will be continuing the project here at The PDA Space. Please sign up on her website to learn more.

Supporting The PDA Society

Positive PDA fully support the work, research and resources provided by the PDA Society. We would like to thank them for their support and contribution to our event, in particular Sally Russell, Katie Mabberley, Vikki Threlfall, Paula Webb, Debra West and Hilary Harvey.

The organisation is a registered charity in England and Wales providing information, support and training for those living and working with PDA. Run by a group of volunteers, they work tirelessly to raise awareness, increase acceptance and empower people to take action in relation to PDA. You can find out more about the PDA Society including a links to their extensive resources on their page here.

From proceeds raised by the sales of our Back Pocket Pass we are really pleased to announce that we have already made a donation of £3000 to the PDA Society. We know that they will be able to use this to continue to empower even more people to take action in relation to Pathological Demand Avoidance. 

Did you know you can also nominate the PDA Society on Amazon Smile so that you make a donation every time you shop on Amazon at no extra cost to you? Neither did we! So nominate the PDA Society now and give each time you shop!

Resources From The PDA Society

What is PDA?

For more information about autism and PDA, demand avoidance, identifying PDA, diagnosing PDA and the latest research.


An extensive list of books about autism, PDA experiences and stories and support strategies.


Not from the UK? The PDA Society has a list of organisations around the world to support and provide you with further resources where you are.


Academic papers from research institutions developing the evidence base collated by the PDA Society.

Healthcare Professionals

Further information and resources for healthcare professionals working with autism and PDA.


Essential information for all those working in an education setting with PDA individuals, including how PDA may look in school and masking.

Social Care Professionals

Information for Social Care workers and support systems in the community.


The PDA Society offers training courses for parents and carers, educators and for supporting PDA Adults.


If you would like to make a further donation to the PDA Society (and you've already bought our summit pass!) you can find out more here!