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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

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The pathology of pathological demand avoidance

October 17, 2019

I am constantly seeing so much talking and writing

On the pathology of pathological demand avoidance

And it pains me to constantly see

The dismissal of who we, PDAers

Innately are

And why we avoid demands

Yes, there is anxiety

Yes, we require autonomy

Yes, we do better with choice

Yes, flexibility is imperative

But why? Why are we born this way?

Nobody really looks underneath the pathology

Of autism

Of PDA to discover the gifts

PDAers are leaders

Born to lead

Born to bring change

Born to kick up a stink

Born to say no

Born to say “that’s enough, now”

Born unstoppable

Born to be driven by something so much bigger than ourselves that we lack the freedom of choice around our own drive and determination

We fail in our understanding of the gifts

We sit around, desperate for recognition of PDA

We write about what it is, what it isn’t in the hope that professionals will get on board

And we overlook the gifts

We all look to leaders

We all look FOR leaders

We wait

Waiting, waiting, waiting

We wait for someone to have the courage to say the things we want said

The things we want acknowledged

We all wait for the courage to make the changes we want to make

To live the lives we want to live

And guess what?

PDAers will gift us all of the above

But we MUST nurture their leadership

Because just like any innocent being born into our world

Our PDA children don’t yet know

They are born to lead

To bring change

To say NO

“That’s enough, now”

And when a person is born with a purpose

And we go about fitting them into a mould

That isn’t made for them

That doesn’t cater for their greatness

Their diversity

Their luminous, bright, incredible being

They become ill








And then we focus on fixing THAT

Rather than tuning in to


Let go of the pathology

Pay attention to the ferocity

The courage

The drive and determination

Understand the fear

The anxiety

Their unwillingness

As the evidence

The beauty

Of a small spark of their intuition

Of who they truly are

And all they are capable of


Trust in it

This is the only life we have

This is the only life they have

As us

Do we really believe the most important thing

To place all of our attention on

Is how to have our PDAers

Brush their teeth?

We must ask ourselves the very serious and confronting question

Who is it really, that is resisting change?

Seeking control?

Saying No?


We can ask ourselves, instead

“Where can I find the opportunity for nurturing leadership in my little PDAer during this activity?”

“How can I frame this request as leadership potential?”

“How can I offer my child opportunities to teach me?”

“What questions can I ask my child that will create an opportunity to grow their leadership qualities?”

When we teach our children to comply mindlessly,

We are trying to force a lid on an overflowing jar.

In our attempts to instill compliance,

We instill the qualities of a follower.

The world needs followers

And we all have gifts in all positions,

But PDAers are not followers.

We are leaders.

When we know who we are

When we understand our potential

We can begin to experience peace


Respect for ourselves and others

And the unrelenting unrest inside of us

Our endless questioning of our difference

The risk for our self loathing

Is quieted.
Kristy Forbes
inTune Pathways
Image: Birdstone Images


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