Autism, Relationships & PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance or Pervasive Drive for Autonomy
The challenges people have maintaining relationships can be related to relational trauma, PDA, the desire for consistency and/or adherence to high or unrealistic expectations. PDA is a profile of autism, and people with PDA may have no problem making friends, but they may have difficulty keeping them. Can someone who is autistic become more flexible and lower their expectations if they want to? What elements are needed in relationships to accommodate for neurodivergence?
Jen Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC
- The challenges faced in maintaining consistency and connection in friendship.
- Autism and neurodiversity, and the importance of being aware of different types of neurodiversity.
- The importance of consistency and pattern in the lives of neurodivergent people, and how it can relate to your emotional state.
- The evolving nature of human experience and how things get put in and taken out of official stances.
- TikToks that poke fun at the DSM and how it’s revised.
- The experience with ADHD and HSP, and how it relates to your emotional state. The importance of being aware of the current thought on certain topics, such as autism.
- The challenges of being well-educated enough about certain topics, such as autism.
- The importance of being intimate with different types of neurodiversity.
- The importance of being fascinated by how we collectively as a culture and field talk about things.
- The challenge of sharing your process without disenfranchising anyone or alienating anyone especially when talking about sensitive topics.
- The challenges of studying and understanding neurodivergent experiences.
- The importance of being aware of different types of neurodiversity, such as autism and HSP.
- The importance of including autistic listeners in the conversation.
- The importance of being aware of the imperfection of the process of studying and understanding neurodivergent experiences.
- The importance of being aware of the evolving nature of human experience and how things are constantly changing.
- How their autism shows up in their life.
- The importance of being fascinated by how we collectively as a culture and field talk about things, while being aware of the challenges of studying and understanding neurodivergent experiences.
Personal insights about autism
- Historically, they (Patricia) could be very self-centered and talk about her interests incessantly without realizing that not everyone is as fascinated by those things.
- Patricia can have high and unrealistic expectations of how people should behave and how the world should be, which can lead to disappointment.
- Patricia learned that she can change her rigid patterns of thinking and behavior with the help of a support system and feedback.
Insights about how consistency and patterns show up in relationships
- Relationships have an ebb and flow to them, with periods of high contact and periods of low contact.
- The amount of contact in a relationship can be influenced by external factors, such as custody schedules or work demands.
- Consistency and patterns in relationships can be important for some people, but not for others.
- It’s important to communicate with your partner about your needs and expectations for consistency and patterns in the relationship.
- Consistency and patterns in relationships can change over time, and it’s important to be flexible and adaptable.
- It’s important to have a support system outside of the relationship to help manage expectations and provide perspective.
Information about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance or Pervasive/Persistent Drive for Autonomy
- PDA is a clinical term that stands for pathological demand avoidance.
- The term “pathological” is not liked by some people, as it implies that there is something wrong with the person.
- PDA is characterized by a pervasive drive for autonomy, which means that the person needs to feel that they have a sense of efficacy over their life.
- Demands can be either external or internal, and can cause stress and anxiety for people with PDA.
- PDA can come up around internal demands, such as taking a shower or getting work done.
- People with PDA may have a different experience of it depending on whether they are an internalizer or externalizer.
- PDA is a profile of autism.
- The clinical term for PDA is not liked by some people, as it implies that there is something wrong with the person.
- People with PDA may have experienced relational trauma, which can make it difficult for them to feel safe and secure in relationships.
- People with PDA may have difficulty with demands and expectations, and may need to have a sense of control over their environment to feel safe.
- PDA is a complex condition that requires a nuanced understanding of the individual’s experience.
- People with PDA may benefit from support and understanding from others, as well as strategies for managing demands and expectations.
- PDA is just one aspect of the neurodiversity spectrum, and it is important to be aware of the different types of neurodiversity and how they can affect people’s lives.
- People with PDA may have unique strengths and abilities, and it is important to recognize and celebrate these strengths.
- PDA is a complex condition that requires a nuanced understanding of the individual’s experience, and it is important to be aware of the challenges and opportunities that come with it.
Patricia was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but is now exclusively providing coaching. She knows what it’s like to feel like an outcast, misfit, and truthteller. Learning about the trait of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), then learning she is AuDHD (ADHD and autistic) helped Patricia rewrite her history with a deeper understanding, appreciation, and a sense of self-compassion. She created the podcast Unapologetically Sensitive to help other neurodivergent folks know that they aren’t alone, and that having a brain that is wired differently comes with amazing gifts, and some challenges. Patricia works online globally working individually with people, and she teaches Online Courses for HSPs that focus on understanding what it means to be an HSP, self-care, self-compassion, boundaries, perfectionism, mindfulness, communication, and creating a lifestyle that honors you
Jen Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC has been a psychotherapist for 20 years. She specializes in helping Highly Sensitive People thrive in love, work, and parenting Highly Sensitive Children. Jen is passionate about using mindfulness and compassion-based approaches to ameliorate human suffering.
Jen’s website: https://heartfulnessconsulting.com/
HSP Online Course–https://unapologeticallysensitive.com/hsp-online-groups/
Receive the top 10 most downloaded episodes of the podcast– https://www.subscribepage.com/e6z6e6
Sign up for the Newsletter– https://www.subscribepage.com/y0l7d4
To write a review in itunes:
- click on this link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unapologetically-sensitive/id1440433481?mt=2
- select “listen on Apple Podcasts”
- chose “open in itunes”
- choose “ratings and reviews”
- click to rate the number of starts
- click “write a review”
Closed/Private Facebook group Unapologetically Sensitive– https://www.facebook.com/groups/2099705880047619/
Music– Gravel Dance by Andy Robinson www.andyrobinson.com