“Pathological”/ “Extreme”/ “Rational” Demand-Avoidance: Reviewing and Refining its Contested Terrain Through an Educational Perspective. - A Frontiers in Education PDA special issue.

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Woods, R. “Pathological”/ “Extreme”/ “Rational” Demand-Avoidance: Reviewing and Refining its Contested Terrain Through an Educational Perspective. - A Frontiers in Education PDA special issue. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/be65g
AuthorsWoods, R.
Abstract

These are the slides for a video discussing the public information for Frontiers in Education special issue on PDA. Specifically, the video goes into more depth about certain points in the below text, by drawing upon examples from the PDA literature.

This text is taken from public information about the Frontiers in Education special issue on PDA, link below: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/40032/pathological-extre...

Pathological Demand-Avoidance (PDA) is a proposed mental Disorder which originated in the United Kingdom (UK), with persons identified with PDA exhibiting strong avoidance behaviours in response to “ordinary” demands. Initially proposed as a novel type of Disorder, it was briefly suggested it was a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, before often being argued to be an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the UK. Currently, there is no consensus over what PDA is, or what features are associated with it, partly due to the small number and generally poor-quality studies. With many controversies surrounding PDA, frequently with intense passions invoked for and against its use in clinical practice. Hence, there are four different main schools of thought on how to conceptualise PDA. Primary justification for PDA is that it better describes an individual's actions and thus informs personalised education support packages based on collaborative approaches, which regularly breach adult-centric cultural boundaries.

Since 2010, interest in PDA as an ASD in the UK, has resulted in the notion being a “culture-bound concept” in the UK. In part driven by some clinicians diagnosing PDA as an autism subtype and some researchers investigating PDA as an autism subtype. Independent from both the poor state of PDA research and ongoing-historical debates surrounding PDA. Despite arbiters of clinical practice taking a neutral stance on PDA and equally respecting divergent perspectives. There is a need to consider areas of overlap between divergent views on PDA, the implications of implementing different worldviews on PDA, and to test competing hypotheses.

Research suggests children and young persons with PDA tend to struggle in school-based settings, with high rates of exclusions or placement breakdowns. In the UK autism caregivers often use a PDA diagnosis as a proxy to gain access to good quality support packages for their children, in the broader context of special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms and funding cuts to local authorities. However, similar approaches to PDA are widely available and are commonly utilised with autistic persons independent of PDA. Contextualising PDA in broader SEND debates can inform decisions surrounding PDA in research and practice.

Potential authors' literature review sections should discuss the four main schools of thought on PDA and reference scholarship by those with lived experience (both those who do and do not positively identify with PDA). Furthermore, authors should aim ad defining what schools of thought their axiology is based upon, their specific definition for PDA, their exact PDA behaviour profile and their exact threshold for PDA is. Therefore, for this Research Topic we welcome submissions which span a range of themes including (but not limited to):

- Systematic and scoping reviews, novel conceptualisations of PDA
- Refinement of proposed ontologies, such as an Attachment Disorder
- Contextualising PDA in historical and current notions of disability
- Questioning underlying assumptions and providing alternative explanations
- Ethical merits for different worldviews of PDA
- Personal perspectives on PDA
- How do PDA strategies compare with other approaches used with SEND persons and wider pedagogies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/be65g
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/be65g
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Deposited21 Jun 2022
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