Nov 17-18 Perspectives on Demand Avoidance: Is it PDA, or Something Else?

POPARD and ACT are pleased to host this important event, and honoured to welcome four internationally renowned clinicians who will present over two days:

Stream from anywhere in the world.

Recording available for two weeks after the event.


Task avoidance or refusal among children is common.  Educators have students who avoid certain subjects. Parents endure the frustration of children who will do anything BUT their homework. However, for some autistic students, these behaviors can be more intense.  Providing additional supports for tasks that are difficult for the student is usually sufficient to obtain their cooperation. However, there are students whose avoidance or refusal is excessive and can cause extreme challenges for their caregivers, both at home and in school, threatening their opportunities for community inclusion as well as an education.

Various terms have been used to describe the cluster of behaviors observed in these students, including “non-compliant”, “defiant”, “oppositional” (including “Oppositional Defiant Disorder”) as well as the increasing use of the term “Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)”.  While PDA is not a widely accepted diagnosis, whatever we call these intense behaviors, affected students need the people around them to better understand effective treatment strategies.

This two-day, virtual conference aims to inform, educate, and encourage dialogue amongst professionals from diverse theoretical and clinical backgrounds on this topic. Our presenters will share insights through the lens of their specific disciplines and present their varied approaches to helping students who present with these difficulties. This conference will provide an opportunity to deepen your understanding of how to develop effective strategies to provide support to students, their school and clinical teams, and their families.


Laura Kerbey BSc (Hons), PGCE (Autism), NPQH – Session Title: Supporting Learners with Pathological Demand Avoidance

Ross W. Greene, PhD  – Session Title: Collaborative & Proactive Solutions – Moving from Power and Control to Collaboration and Problem-Solving

Phil Christie, CPsychol, AFBPsS – Session Title: Understanding and Supporting Children and Young People with a PDA Profile

Merrill Winston, PhD, BCBA-D – Session Title: ESE Wars Episode III – The Return of the Darth Task Evader – An Analysis of Escape-Maintained Behaviour