Thursday, 7 January 2016

Are you are a parent whose child has diagnosed or suspected PDA or Autism

Hi, my name is Mandi Baker and I am studying for an MSc in Applied Research at Staffordshire University. I have worked previously with a number of children on the autistic spectrum, speech and language difficulties and with global complex needs. Last summer, I received my undergraduate provisional results, and the very same day was accepted on to the masters course, so  like any other mum, that evening I celebrated by pottering around tidying up after the kids were finally asleep in bed. In the background the TV was on, and I remember hearing the words “Born Naughty”, so I sat down in anticipation to watch – when Honey was good, she was very good, but her rage-filled meltdowns were alarming to watch, and instantly my heart went out to the parents.

Over the following weeks, I found myself asking the same question over and over where is the support for parents and of course the children?? Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome, a new sub type of autism, one that clinicians and educators seem to know little about.  I am not only fascinated by this condition but also very passionate about the support or lack of support for parents, particularly, whether their well-being improves after diagnosis? 

For my dissertation, I will be conducting research into, parent well-being in families of children with suspected or diagnosed Autism or Pathological Demand Avoidance.

The aim of the project is to investigate the associations between children with suspected and diagnosed Autism and PDA and the parent’s well-being along with the impact it has on their families. The emphasis on the diagnosis is important as the interventions in place for children with suspected PDA, are unsuccessful, due to the characteristics of the child. The strategies used for children with diagnosed PDA, conduct disorders or autism have been tested and have been found to be unhelpful because of the inflexibility of the demands used (O’Nions 2013).

So, if you are a parent whose child has diagnosed or suspected PDA or Autism and can spare 10 minutes to complete the online study please click the following link

I want to make this as informative a piece of research as possible so please, if this description fits you (or anyone else you know), get in touch!

Many thanks,



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