Demand Avoidance - The Basics

Presented by Yvonne Newbold

This webinar looks at why children who are very anxious can also become markedly demand avoidant, and how you can support these children to cope better with everyday life.

We start by looking at: –

  • What does “demand avoidant” mean?
  • Why, if a child avoids demands, it does not necessarily mean that they would always meet the criteria for a diagnosis of autism with demand-avoidance traits, or of Pathological Demand Avoidance, which is commonly abbreviated to PDA.
  • Why children sometimes become demand avoidant.
  • The link between demand avoidance and anxiety
  • How to identify and address the underlying causes of this anxiety
  • Effective strategies that can help are shared from the very start and all the way through.

 This webinar explores in depth some of the possible underlying reasons behind the anxiety that is likely to be causing any demand avoidance, and what a parent can do to minimise this anxiety by addressing the root cause. We also discuss how lowering demands can be helpful as a short-term strategy, but it is seldom the whole answer, and long-term it becomes unrealistic and unsustainable.

We look at some common difficulties such as school refusal or bedtime refusal, masking, and how demand avoidant behaviour can sometimes tip over into controlling behaviour. We look at how to use visuals to aid understanding and communication when emotions are heightened, and the importance of giving a child far more time than seems necessary to allow them to process information.

We also look at why praise can be difficult for children whose anxiety levels have become so extreme that they are using demand avoidant behaviour to cope with daily life. Plus loads more.

Parents leave this workshop feeling lighter, more hopeful, and optimistic, less alone, and with a fresh approach towards supporting their child.