Help for Psychology

Recommended Books and Research

Can I tell you about Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome - by Ruth Fidler and Phil Christie


Meet Issy – an 11-year-old girl with pathological demand avoidance syndrome (PDA), a condition on the autism spectrum. Issy invites readers to learn about PDA from her perspective, helping them to understand how simple, everyday demands can cause her great anxiety and stress. Issy tells readers about all the ways she can be helped and supported by those around her.

This illustrated book is for readers aged 7 and upwards, and will be an excellent way to increase understanding about PDA in the classroom or at home. It also includes practical tips and recommended resources for parents and professionals.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

My Daughter is not Naughty - by Jane Sherwin


After years of misdiagnosis, Jane's daughter, Mollie, was diagnosed with PDA at the age of seven, and we follow her experiences pre and post diagnosis to age 10 as she attends school, interacts with the outside world and approaches adolescence. Throughout, Jane provides commentary on her daughter's behaviour and the impact it has on her family, explaining the 'why' of PDA traits, including the need for control, meltdowns, obsessive behaviour and sensory issues.

Full of advice and support, and with a focus on understanding the child and how he or she sees the world, this book will be of immeasurable value to the parents and families of children with PDA as well as the professionals working with them, particularly teachers and teaching assistants, SEN co-ordinators, psychologists, outreach workers and social workers.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

Please find below a list of books we are happy to recommend. As we review more books/resources we will add them to this list. Our research can be found below these books.

Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children - by Phil Christie, Margaret Duncan, Zara Healy and Ruth Fidler

This straightforward guide offers a complete overview of Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) and gives practical advice for overcoming the difficulties it poses in a wide range of contexts from diagnosis through to adulthood. Starting with an exploration into the background of PDA that answers many of the immediate questions triggered when a child is first diagnosed, the book goes on to look at the impact of the condition on different areas of the child's life and what can be done to help. The authors present useful information on early intervention options and workable strategies for managing PDA positively on a day-to-day basis. They also examine ways to minimize common difficulties that may be encountered at home and school, making life easier for the child, family and peers. The final chapters tackle new problems that can arise when the teenage years hit and how to assist a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. Illustrative case examples are included throughout, and the book concludes with a list of valuable resources for further information and advice. Full of helpful guidance and support, this user-friendly introductory handbook is essential reading for anyone caring for, or working with, children with PDA.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

A Volcano in my Tummy - by Eliane Whitehouse and Warwick Pudney

A Volcano in My Tummy: Helping Children to Handle Anger presents a clear and effective approach to helping children and adults alike understand and deal constructively with children's anger. Using easy to understand yet rarely taught skills for anger management, including how to teach communication of emotions, A Volcano in My Tummy offers engaging, well-organized activities which help to overcome the fear of children's anger which many adult care-givers experience. By carefully distinguishing between anger the feeling, and violence the behaviour, this accessible book, primarily created for ages six to thirteen, helps to create an awareness of anger, enabling children to relate creatively and harmoniously at critical stages in their development. Through activities, stories, articles, and games designed to allow a multi-subject, developmental approach to the topic at home and in school, A Volcano in My Tummy gives us the tools we need to put aside our problems with this all-too-often destructive emotion, and to have fun while we're at it.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

The Red Beast - by K.I. Al-Ghani

Deep inside everyone, a red beast lies sleeping. When it is asleep, the red beast is quite small, but when it wakes up, it begins to grow and grow. This is the story of a red beast that was awakened. Rufus is in the school playground when his friend John kicks a ball that hit him in the stomach, and wakes up the sleeping red beast: `I hate you - I'm gonna get you!'. The red beast doesn't hear the teacher asking if he's okay. It doesn't see that John is sorry - how can Rufus tame the red beast?

This vibrant fully illustrated children's storybook is written for children aged 5+, and is an accessible, fun way to talk about anger, with useful tips about how to 'tame the red beast' and guidance for parents on how anger affects children with Asperger's Syndrome.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

The Incredible 5-Point Scale - by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis

This much-awaited second edition of the popular Incredible 5-Point Scale is, as the title suggests, significantly improved and expanded.

Using the same practical and user-friendly format as the first edition, Buron and Curtis let readers benefit from work done with the scales over the past 10 years, to result in refinements to the original scales, now considered classics in homes and classrooms across the country and abroad, as well as lots of new scales specifically designed for two groups of individuals: young children and those with more classic presentations of autism, including expanded use of the Anxiety Curve. Another welcome addition is a list of goals and objectives related to incorporating scales in students IEPs

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

The girl with the curly hair - by Alis Rowe

My family have known me my entire life.

They have been by my side at the doctor’s.

They have brought me out of shutdowns.

They have supported me through depression.

Yet, despite being a part of all of these things, they still don’t really know what it’s like being me, having Asperger’s Syndrome.

So I wrote this book.

The hardest thing about having Asperger’s Syndrome is that it can seem like an invisible condition. Females in particular, can be expert at masking their symptoms. Tomorrow I will get up and leave the house, go into work and get on with things, my challenges totally oblivious to the people around me. The next day will be the same. And the day after.

I hope this book will build the bridge between people with Asperger’s Syndrome and the rest of the world. Most people with Asperger’s Syndrome are able and willing to work and live a “normal” life, with the right support and adjustment. The main problem is that most people are just unaware of how they can help.

So, let us begin our journey into the wearing but wonderful world that is . . . Asperger’s Syndrome.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

Think Good Feel Good - by Paul Stallard

Think Good ― Feel Good is an exciting and pioneering new practical resource in print and on the internet for undertaking CBT with children and young people. The materials have been developed by the author and trialled extensively in clinical work with children and young people presenting with a range of psychological problems.

Paul Stallard introduces his resource by covering the basic theory and rationale behind CBT and how the workbook should be used. An attractive and lively workbook follows which covers the core elements used in CBT programmes but conveys these ideas to children and young people in an understandable way and uses real life examples familiar to them. The concepts introduced to the children can be applied to their own unique set of problems through the series of practical exercises and worksheets.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

Think Good Feel Good (a clinician’s guide) - by Paul Stallard

This is a companion guide to Think Good Feel Good: A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Workbook for Children and Young People. Designed for clinicians using the original workbook in their work with children, the book builds upon the workbook materials by offering guidance on all aspects of the therapeutic process and a range of case studies highlighting therapy in action. Topics covered include parent involvement, key cognitive distortions in children, formulations, challenging thoughts, guided discovery and the use of imagery. Also included is a chapter focusing on possible problems in therapy and strategies for overcoming them.

To supplement the workbook, the clinician′s guide offers further materials and handouts for use in therapy, including psycho–educational materials for children and parents on common problems, such as depression, OCD, PTSD/Trauma and Anxiety.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

Cool Connections with CBT - by Laurie Seiler

Cool Connections is a fun, engaging workbook that provides a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach to positively modifying the everyday thoughts and behaviours of children and young people aged 9 to 14. Combining a summary of CBT principles and step-by-step guidelines on how to use the materials appropriately with a mixture of games, handouts, home activities and therapeutic exercises, "Cool Connections" is designed to encourage resilience and self-esteem and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Fully photocopiable, fully illustrated and easy to use, this structured workbook is an effective tool for professionals working to improve the general well-being of children and young people, including psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, social workers, and child and adolescent mental health services, as well as professionals in residential care settings and educational professionals in child/youth services.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum: Diagnosis, Intervention and Family Support - by Dr Judy Eaton   

This book addresses the specific mental health needs of girls and young women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Looking at the ways autism presents differently in girls than in boys, and the mental health conditions that occur most frequently in girls with ASD, this is the essential guide for clinicians and educators on tailoring interventions and support to meet girls' needs.

Describing the current assessment process for autism diagnosis, the book explains why girls are under- or mis-diagnosed, leading to later mental health issues. It outlines the types of intervention that are particularly helpful for working with girls to reduce anxiety, improve social interaction skills, and manage self-harm. The book also covers how to manage eating disorders and feeding difficulties, focusing on working with girls with sensory processing difficulties. There is advice on how to deal with the emotional impact on parents, carers and families, and the challenges they face when negotiating appropriate psychological and educational support.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

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The New Social Story Book™ - by Carol Gray

Since the early 90s, Carol Gray’s world-famous Social Stories have helped thousands of children with autism spectrum disorders. This 15th Anniversary Edition of her best-selling book offers over 180 ready-to-use stories that parents and educators have depended on for years, and new sections added are: How to most effectively use and apply the stories; How to improve the lives of younger children; and Social Stories for teens and adults with autism. Developed through years of experience, these strategically written stories explain social situations in ways children and adults with autism understand, while teaching social skills needed for them to be successful at home, school, work, and in the community.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

The PDA Paradox: The Highs and Lows of My Life on a Little-Known Part of the Autism Spectrum - by Harry Thompson

Diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in his teenage years, Harry Thompson looks back with wit and humour at the ups and downs of family and romantic relationships, school, work and mental health, as well as his teenage struggle with drugs and alcohol. By embracing neurodiversity and emphasising that autistic people are not flawed human beings, Thompson demonstrates that some merely need to take the "scenic route" in order to flourish and reach their full potential. The memoir brings to life Harry's past experiences and feelings, from his torrid time at school to the peaceful and meaningful moments when he is alone with a book, writing or creating YouTube videos. Eloquent and insightful, The PDA Paradox will bring readers to shock, laughter and tears through its overwhelming honesty. It is a turbulent memoir, but it ends with hope and a positive outlook to the future.

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

This book includes the following review by Dr Judy Eaton - As a clinician who has worked with complex young people and adults with Autism throughout my working life, I was delighted to be asked to review this book. I read it in one sitting. It is the most articulate, honest, entertaining (and sometimes funny) book about PDA I have read. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to gain an insight into how this profile impacts upon individuals, their families and those who work with or are involved in their education.



Education and Girls on the Autism Spectrum - edited by Judith Hebron and Caroline Bond

Addressing the gender gap in the understanding of autism, this multi-perspective book explores the educational needs of girls on the autism spectrum from early years to secondary school, in both mainstream and special settings. The collection, comprising insights from autistic women and girls and educational and medical professionals makes recommendations for a collaborative and integrated approach that enables girls on the spectrum to reach their full potential. By establishing close collaborations between girls on the spectrum, their parents, teachers and specialist professionals, the field can move forwards in terms of providing understanding and an appropriate educational framework for success.

This book also includes a chapter written by Dr Judy Eaton titled - “A Clinical Psychology Perspective of the Experiences and Mental Health Challenges of Girls With Autism.”

(Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)

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Me and My PDA: A Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance for Young People by Glòria Durà-Vilà and Tamar Levi

This beautifully illustrated guide helps young people with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) to understand their diagnosis, develop self-awareness and implement their own personalised problem-solving strategies. Written in consultation with young people with PDA and their families, this book recognises the importance of handing control back to the young person, and that there is no one-size-fits-all PDA profile. Readers are encouraged to engage throughout with interactive writing, doodling and checklist exercises to explore their own particular characteristics, strengths and challenges. Me and My PDA is sensitively tailored to the needs and experiences of young people (aged 10+) with PDA. The guide is designed to grow with the reader, and can be used for many years as the young person develops and changes - making it invaluable to PDA-diagnosed individuals and their families.

Please click here if you wish to view this book on Amazon.)


Our current research

We are currently in the process of producing a number of papers and journal articles following our in-depth analysis of over 350 cases. Our first published article is an update of the Coventry Grid. The original Coventry Grid looked at differentiating between ASD and attachment difficulties. Our updated version adds a third element - PDA - and looks at the differences between all three presentations. A copy of the published article, in PDF format, is available by clicking here.

Further updates regarding this research will be published on this page as and when they are available, and announced on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/help4psychology