Take our quiz: Do you know someone with PDA?

Learn More

About PDA

Demand Avoidance is a developmental disorder and spectrum condition. It has some similarities with autism and Asperger's Syndrome but also significant differences. At the extreme end of its unique spectrum is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

PDA is a pervasive developmental disorder (meaning it affects all areas of development) and was first identified by Elizabeth Newson in 2003, although it is still not currently recognised in many tools used for diagnosing autism and other spectrum conditions. It is a complex, challenging and misunderstood condition that is often ignored or not even recognised by many professionals. It is worth noting that strategies which are helpful for people with autistic spectrum disorders may not be useful in cases of PDA.


This quiz should not be considered a diagnostic test. For diagnosis, a thorough assessment by an experienced professional is required.


This quiz is based on the EDA-Q, developed as a part of published research into PDA by O’Nions, E., Christie, P., Gould, J., Viding, E. & Happé, F. in a paper titled Development of the ’Extreme Demand Avoidance Questionnaire’ (EDA-Q): Preliminary observations on a trait measure for Pathological Demand Avoidance published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2013.


Do You know someone with PDA?

Think about the person you are completing this quiz for. Select the answer closest to how much you think the statement applies to them.

1. S/he obsessively resists and avoids ordinary demands and requests.

2. S/he complains about illness or physical incapacity to avoid a request or demand.

3. S/he seems driven by a need to be in charge.

4. Do they appear to find everyday pressures (like going to work, shopping, getting a haircut etcetera) intolerably stressful.

5. S/he tells other people how they should behave, but doesn't think that those rules should apply to them.

6. S/he imitates famous or important people for example by using the same words and doing the same actions.

7. S/he need to be asked to do things in the 'right' way or a particular way, perhaps indirectly.

8. S/he takes on roles or characters from TV/real life and 'acts them out'.

9. S/he doesn't show shame or embarrassment when behaving awkwardly or unusually.

10. S/he escapes to a fantasy world away from reality, perhaps from their imagination or a book or cartoon.

11. S/he persuades people to do what s/he wants even if should be something s/he should be doing and it might be more difficult for them.

12. S/he considers that s/he is every bit as important as a figure of authority such as a policeman, politician or judge.

13. If pushed to do something s/he does not want to do s/he might scream or shout or become violent.

14. S/he likes to be told that s/he has done a good job.

15. Their mood can change quite quickly.

16. S/he knows how to 'press someone's buttons' and upset them, particularly if s/he thinks 'they deserve it'.

17. S/he knows that some people are to blame and judges them.

18. S/he denies doing things wrongly even if someone points out obvious mistakes.

19. S/he appears to be distracted by something within.

20. S/he feels that s/he must make a deliberate effort to maintain their reputation.

21. S/he will go to extremes to avoid doing something s/he doesn't want to do.

22. S/he can be emotional even over little things.

23. S/he is social in limited circles, perhaps with people who tolerate him/her and what s/he stands for.

24. S/he likes to be in charge and take responsibility in a group, for instance being President or Treasurer in a society, and wears any badge or uniform or uses any title with pride.

25. S/he likes to negotiate the best terms.

26. S/he was a quiet child; difficult to engage with, perhaps a little aloof or appearing adult - using sophisticated language at school.