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

by Harry Thompson Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 184 pages
AU$29.99 NZ$30.43
Product Status: Available in Approx 7 days
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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.

1. Gratitude? I Think Not! 2. So What the Devil is this PDA Malarkey Anyway? 3. Mother & The Beast. 4a. "School". 4b. A Brief, Yet Necessary, Digression. 4c. (Resumed). 5. "Pretending to be Something I'm Not in Pursuit of Green, Rectangular Pieces of Paper". 6. Coexisting with Other Living Things on a Blue and Green Speck of Dust Hurtling Through Space. 7. Inhale and Exhale. Denouement. End: A Final Note from the Author's Mother.

'Being a mum to a teenage PDA son is life-changing, and at times, utterly heartwrenching
experience. Seeing Harry through his own candid, entertaining and
diplomatic lens, fills me with hope, quiet optimism, and (most importantly) confidence
for my own son's future. Thank you Harry for your insight.' - Natasha, PDA mum
'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.' - Dr Judy Eaton, C onsultant C linical
Harry Thompson is a millennial diagnosed with PDA, who has lived in both the UK and the US. He has a YouTube channel dedicated to PDA and neurodiversity with a strong number of followers.