The Family Experience of PDA: An Illustrated Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance by Eliza Fricker
Author and illustrator, Eliza Fricker, talks about the purpose behind her new book, the insightful illustrated guide, The Family Experience of PDA, and offers an inside look at her comic-strip-style drawings.
Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) can often feel an overwhelming and complex presentation of Autism. For many parents, they have felt their child has been misunderstood or unsupported as suggested Autism strategies have either not worked or proven counterproductive.
Demand avoidance is the result of extreme anxiety and means that for many everyday demands of life, such as getting dressed or brushing teeth may be overwhelming.
It will require re-learning as the parents or carer and re-thinking many of those parental and societal norms that we perceive as necessary because children with PDA will require a creative and equal footing in order to reduce the anxiety and help them feel more safe and secure. .
That key person will be essential to helping the child feel regulated and safe too.
While many of the supports and adjustments necessary will at times seem a lot for us as the parent and carers to undertake, I wanted to write this book to show that by making these adaptations, we can have a more connected and meaningful relationship with our children.
I often say that being a PDA parent allows us to rip up that (imaginary) rulebook, because we will be doing things very differently and that is okay.
I have used illustrations and comic strips to give insight into our everyday life parenting a child with PDA with humour and compassion, essential to a calm and happy family life.
This book is aimed at families to reassure and comfort because when our lives appear very different from the many, we can become questioning of this but we are also doing it the best way for our children.
I hope it will be a helpful addition to any family who need reassurance that parenting this way – while at times exhausting – is also what works for them and, in turn, us.
‘The Family Experience of PDA: An Illustrated Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance’ by Eliza Flicker is out now.