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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-15998: Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside)


Date lodged: 17 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what support is offered to parents seeking a diagnosis of pathological demand avoidance for their child.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 25 April 2018

In the NHS, clinicians will diagnose autism in line with guidance. There are currently two major diagnostic classification systems in use: the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5). These systems are the ‘gold standard’ for autism diagnosis and neither of them recognises PDA. Since Scotland is committed to standards of best practice, and as stated in SIGN 145, Assessment, diagnosis and interventions for autism spectrum disorders: A national clinical guideline , all professionals involved in diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder in children, young people or adults should consider using either one of the current versions of these classification systems. SIGN guidance does not recognise PDA as a distinct category for diagnosis.

We acknowledge that the complexity of autism, and the multi-faceted nature of the needs of those with autism, poses particular challenges to professionals and commissioners. The Scottish Government wants to make sure that clinicians have the best possible knowledge and resources available for them to make recommendations on the care and management of autistic children and young people.

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting children and young people with autism, under which PDA is categorised, to enable the right support to be put in place early and reduce the longer term impact.