Autism & Pathological Demand Avoidance

Autism is a broad spectrum. I have over 20 years’ personal and professional experience of autism and, more recently, of pathological demand avoidance (PDA).

The National Autistic Society website describes autism as ‘a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them’

and PDA as ‘a behaviour profile that is seen in some individuals on the autism spectrum……those who present with this particular diagnostic profile are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent….this demand avoidant behaviour is rooted in an anxiety-based need to be in control.’

I welcome clients with autism and aim to be as flexible as possible to accommodate any specific needs or requirements. I will always look to understand what your autism means to you, how it impacts you, what’s helpful to you, how might we work together in a way that’s comfortable for you. At your initial session we can discuss what you’re experiencing, what you’re looking for from counselling and explore further from there.

I also work with parents and carers of people with autism. I understand some of the challenges, difficulties and emotions involved, and the impact on both the individual and on relationships. We can explore tools and techniques for managing this, different ways of working with your child, building resilience, emotional regulation, stress management, acceptance, among other things. We can also look at the importance of communication, connection and emotional expression in maintaining healthy relationships, and how to maintain emotional and physical intimacy.

If you think support with any of these issues might be helpful to you, do get in touch.