Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

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We're running this webinar as an abbreviated version of the full-day training course detailed below, due to the coronavirus outbreak. We'll cover elements of the programme listed in the original workshop outline below:

This seminar will help you develop a better understanding of the distinct behaviour profile associated with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), and will explore how to provide better support to those pupils who are affected.

Although the PDA is not yet officially recognised in Scotland as being part of the autism spectrum, parents, carers and the sector have identified a need for improved guidance and support on this topic.

Key learning:

  • The distinctive profile of PDA, in particular the way children are driven to avoid demands and expectations
  • Issues for educational settings in meeting the needs of pupils with PDA
  • Effective strategies for engaging with children with PDA and promoting their emotional wellbeing.


Ruth Fidler is an Education Consultant specialising in complex autism, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), interactive approaches and emotional wellbeing. She worked at Sutherland House, a non-maintained special school for 94 pupils across the autism spectrum, for 22 years.

Ruth provides training and consultancy for schools and parents and works with other agencies including the Autism Education Trust and the National Autistic Society.

She is co-author of two books, Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome in children (2012) and Can I Tell You About Pathological Demand Avoidance? (2015).

System requirements for attendees

This webinar will be delivered using Zoom. You can attend from anywhere using a compatible computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone connected to the internet.

Please note, some organisations have additional security settings that may prevent you from accessing Zoom on a work device.

Please check that your organisation permits access to Zoom. If they don’t provide access, we encourage you to use a personal device with Google Chrome instead. Otherwise, please speak to your IT team to gain access or ask them to change the security settings on your work device to access Zoom.

Closed Captioning and Live Transcription

Zoom enables Close Captioning and Live Transcription. Once you have joined the Zoom, you can access this by:

  1. Click the “CC Live Transcript” button
  2. Click one of the following:
  • Show Subtitles – Displays captioning on the bottom of the video. You can also select Hide Subtitle once subtitles are selected to hide them.
  • View Full Transcript – Opens a panel/pop-up and displays captions in real-time with both the speaker’s name and time stamp.

Refund Policy

If you are unable to attend the webinar for any reason the webinar fee will still apply. As a not-for-profit charity, Children in Scotland needs to ensure that we cover the running costs of delivering webinars, unfortunately this means we are unable to reimburse attendees if they are unable to participate in a webinar.


If you are unable to attend the webinar for any reason please do let us know so that we can offer your place to someone else.

Copyright and data sharing

Recording and/or distributing the webinar in any form is prohibited. This training may be recorded for internal review and use.

Please note that your personal details may be shared with the trainer for training purposes. These details will be deleted once the webinar has taken place.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email events@childreninscotland.org.uk.