Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome?

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AllieKat
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23 Aug 2011, 1:12 am

I think I may have it- read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathologic ... _avoidance

My parents always said my problems were caused by being "stubborn."
As a kid (from the ages of 8-12) I had tons of imaginary friends to compensate for the lack of friends in real life.
I usually do make eye contact when I speak to others.
I have always annoyed people by talking too much rather than being super introverted.
I enjoy the company of others but just don't fit in.
I never really got upset when my routine was changed and unlike many Aspies, I enjoy novelty and need a lot of variety to keep me happy.

So I'm wondering if I'm really a classic Asperger's case or if I have this Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome?

WDYT?



Messysuzie
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23 Aug 2011, 1:19 am

Isn't this kinda like fight or flight, n u choose flight? These are deep rooted homosapein urges. There are ways to deal with it. Lmk if u want some ideas



soulreapersenna
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23 Aug 2011, 4:07 am

It could just be that your Aspie personality is "Active but odd", as a matter of fact most Aspies fall into this personality type but are also crippled by social anxieties.

I happen to be pretty aloof and passive, I don't bother with people unless they bother with me first, this can seem like I don't care, when in reality I care very much for those around me, and I DO crave social interactions and making friends.

And keep in mind every Aspie is different, and just because you can make eye contact and tolerate change doesn't make you any less Aspie then those who have trouble doing those things.

Like for example, I have trouble maintaining eye contact when a person is sitting besides me and up close, even looking into that persons face is hard, but a few feet away, it's no problem for me.

I can tolerate change very well...considering my past growing up was full of change and I literally had no structure, I created my own structure in my own space, my room, but since I shared a room with my brother, even that was full of changes.

I simply learned how to adapt.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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23 Aug 2011, 5:03 am

AllieKat wrote:
I think I may have it- read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathologic ... _avoidance

My parents always said my problems were caused by being "stubborn."
As a kid (from the ages of 8-12) I had tons of imaginary friends to compensate for the lack of friends in real life.
I usually do make eye contact when I speak to others.
I have always annoyed people by talking too much rather than being super introverted.
I enjoy the company of others but just don't fit in.
I never really got upset when my routine was changed and unlike many Aspies, I enjoy novelty and need a lot of variety to keep me happy.

So I'm wondering if I'm really a classic Asperger's case or if I have this Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome?

WDYT?


Hi AllieKat

The main difference between my 5yr old daughter and I is that I always did everything I was told to, by my parents or any other authority figures, whereas my daughter never does a thing she's told. The books I read were about parenting strong-willed (in other words stubborn) and spirited chidren. I came across PDA , then Aspergers started to become evident and we've been going down that path, since then.

It's funny that you mention routine. Unlike most Aspies (or so I've read), she doesn't mind a change in routine. The little boy next door is also a probable Aspie. When we got up one morning to find a carpet of snow, I offered to walk him to school, so that his Mum didn't need to struggle out with the baby. Although he knows me and we get on well, he totally refused, as the idea was pounced on him. But, if I'm ill and tell my daughter my friend's going to take her instead, she seems really excited. This is one area where I think a diagnosis of Aspergers may cause confusion, at school or anywhere else, where I won't be there to advise. That's why the assessment of needs is much more important than a diagnosis, for me anyway.

One of the things I read was that people with PDA can become obsessed with people, rather than stuff. I got a little worried about this as it sounded kind of like stalker behaviour. At that point, she was really obsessed with my best friend's son. At first, they were getting on well, but she started wanting to wait for him at home time, even though we were going in the opposite direction. I sensed he was becoming fed up with her. Thankfully, she's moved on from that and he regularly asks if she can come and play after school. She's an extrovert too BTW.

To be honest, I just see her as an individual. She appears to have traits of Aspergers, PDA, ADHD and SPD (for me, replace PDA with OCD). She may not even have enough of any particular thing to warrant a specific diagnosis or maybe PDD-NOS, although Aspergers is the only thing that has been mentioned so far.



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23 Aug 2011, 12:06 pm

I'm self-diagnosed with PDA (I prefer to call it Newson Syndrome). One thing I'd like to mention is that the one characteristic everyone with that condition has is demand avoidance.

Do you feel a sense of panic when someone tells you too firmly what to do, even if it's something you'd be fine with doing otherwise? Do you find it harder to do something the more someone pushes you to do it? Do you use strategies such as pretending to be less capable than you are, making excuses, trying to distract the person, etc to avoid doing what you're told?

If not, then you don't have PDA, even if you have some of the other traits.



AllieKat
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23 Aug 2011, 12:48 pm

I don't feel 'panic' when I'm told what to do but I consider myself strong-willed (I prefer this term to stubborn). I don't have obsessions with people but I do crave company. I may be somewhere between the spectrum of PDA and classic AS rather than a clear-cut case of PDA- it seems like it's all one big muddled up spectrum.



OrangeCloud
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23 Aug 2011, 1:38 pm

I don't know for sure as I am not a doctor or anything, but it sounds to me as if you are classic Aspergers with slightly better coping skills than the average aspie.

I am not as bad with routine change as most aspies, (but worse than a normal person,) and I make too much eye contact. I tend to glare at people and frighten them to death.

But despite this my social skills are ok and I'm mostly mistaken for a weird NT. And I have always been very independant and strong willed, and have always questioned authority (I would always argue with my teachers.) But not because I pathologically avoid demands, but because I have a mind of my own and could see through the bs indoctrination that they were spouting at school.

I think that it is just a case of not fitting into the social structures of our surroundings which in my case was definitely an aspergers thing.



soulreapersenna
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23 Aug 2011, 11:37 pm

Perhaps being stubborn is just a personality trait rather then a symptom of a disorder, I'm stubborn, and I do become rather
obsessed with people, but more like I become obsessed
when what they say and do doesn't make sense to me
then I constantly bug them and ask them what their true
intentions are.

Take into consideration, most Aspie girls are generally more interested in people then objects, and want desperately to
connect with people more but can't

Generally Aspie girls are more interested in people then are boys with Asperger's which may be due to the fact girls are brought up to be "Caring and nice to other people."

Fact is mothers give their daughters an extra dosage of 'How to behave appropriately' around people, than they do boys.

This is why girls tend to be more into romance, and relationships and boys usually put a job above a relationship.

I'm rambling but these are my views..


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Ettina
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24 Aug 2011, 3:18 pm

It's odd. I think gender differences among autistics are probably key to understanding PDA, because AS/autism is 3:1 male to female ratio and PDA is 1:1. Why are there more PDA girls than expected?



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24 Aug 2011, 3:48 pm

type are you an aspie quiz on the search engine and see what your results are. love that test. do you like rocking, by the way? do you enjoy watching the clothes in the dryer turn around and around, or the fan, or treetops moving in the wind?



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24 Aug 2011, 3:58 pm

There's a dozen of possible co-morbids to AS/autism that may be confounding. ADD/ADHD, SAD, Schizoid PD, Narcissistic PD, PDA, PTSD, a range of learning disabilities, etc.

The more I read or see videos about them the more traits I come across that I may have. So, for practical reason, you have to "streamline" the bunch of possible diagnoses by finding one or two that describes you the best. Formally, you have to meet the criteria of a diagnosis. You may share some traits with people having a different disorder than yours, this is quite common, I suppose.


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25 Aug 2011, 5:59 am

Ettina wrote:
It's odd. I think gender differences among autistics are probably key to understanding PDA, because AS/autism is 3:1 male to female ratio and PDA is 1:1. Why are there more PDA girls than expected?


That's an interesting point. I'm of the belief that AS is just under-diagnosed in females. I think the main reason for the difference with PDA is that these kids (whether male or female) are more likely to be referred for diagnosis. With PDA, there are constant battles and it's quite obvious that there's something wrong. Some kids with AS have conflict issues too, but it's not always the case. AS girls without such traits are more likely to go undetected (I think I'm a prime example). Boys just tend to be more obvious, even if they don't have conflict issues (although I don't know why that is).



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25 Aug 2011, 11:24 am

I'd disagree that PDA kids are more likely to be diagnosed. Often times parents have to fight to convince doctors that their kid actually has a developmental disability instead of just being 'bad'. They may be more often assessed, but since they lack some of the classic autistic traits and are hard to test accurately the result often turns out as something like Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Or attachment disorder if there's any suggestion of trauma in their history. Often no one even considers that they might have a neurological basis for their differences.



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25 Aug 2011, 1:49 pm

Ettina wrote:
I'd disagree that PDA kids are more likely to be diagnosed. Often times parents have to fight to convince doctors that their kid actually has a developmental disability instead of just being 'bad'. They may be more often assessed, but since they lack some of the classic autistic traits and are hard to test accurately the result often turns out as something like Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Or attachment disorder if there's any suggestion of trauma in their history. Often no one even considers that they might have a neurological basis for their differences.


I agree. I'm not suggesting it's a diagnosis that's arrived at easily, quite the opposite in fact. I doubt that PDA will even be mentioned at my daughter's appointments and the diagnosis will either be Aspergers or PDD-NOS. What I was really trying to say is that I think a parent with a PDA child is highly likely to seek help at some point (for the sake of their own sanity, if nothing else) and that's unrelated to whether the child is male or female. On the other hand, there's a slightly greater chance of a parent of an AS child not recognising any significant issues, especially if that child isn't argumentative and life at home seems pleasant enough. Amongst these quiet little 'well behaved' kids, maybe the boys have a greater chance of being spotted and the girls just slip through undetected. In either case, getting people to listen and make a diagnosis is another story and especially hard for PDA.



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25 Aug 2011, 6:42 pm

I'm confused. Can you have AS and PDA at the same time, or is it just one or the other?



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25 Aug 2011, 7:11 pm

Quote:
I'm confused. Can you have AS and PDA at the same time, or is it just one or the other?


PDA is a subtype of the autism spectrum.

Quote:
What I was really trying to say is that I think a parent with a PDA child is highly likely to seek help at some point (for the sake of their own sanity, if nothing else) and that's unrelated to whether the child is male or female.


Hey, I just had a thought. What if parents of PDA girls are more likely to question their child's misdiagnosis given that many of the conditions PDA get confused with are more common in boys? Maybe the gender ratio for PDA actually doesn't differ from autism spectrum as a whole, but since ODD is more common in boys, parents of PDA boys misdiagnosed with ODD are less likely to question that label?