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Pervasive Developmental Disorders

 

Pervasive Developmental Disorders are complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization, communication and cognition. Symptoms may be noticed as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age. Pervasive means that the disorders in this category are conditions that significantly affect several areas of life and disrupt daily functioning.

 

Symptoms of PDD:

It is very important to understand that all children can exhibit unusual behaviors occasionally without having a PDD. Consistency of the unusual behaviors is what differentiates children with PDD from normal toddlers.

Symptoms may include problems with:

learning, using and understanding language and other communication skills
difficulty relating to people, emotions, objects, and events
unusual play with toys and other objects
problems regulating sensory information such as sound and temperature
difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings
repetitive body movements and behavior patterns
self-injurious behavior

 

Types of PDD:

Autistic Disorder:
Autism is a childhood disorder characterized by significant impairment in social interactions, gross and significant impairment in communication, and restricted patterns of behavior, interest, and activities.

Asperger's Disorder:
Asperger's is characterized by impairments in social relationships and restricted or unusual behaviors or activities, but it does not present the language delays observed in people with autism.

Rett's Disorder:
This disorder is almost exclusively observed in females, and is a progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by constant handwringing, mental retardation, and impaired motor skills.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder:
CDD involves severe regression in language, adaptive behavior, and motor skills after a period of normal development for approximately 2-4 years.

 

Causes of PDD:

The exact cause of PDD is not known. Many believe a combination of biological conditions may contribute to the development of or cause these disorders, including brain trauma, viral infections, and genetics.

 

Treatment of PDD:

There is no known cure for PDD. Medications are sometimes used to help with specific behavioral problems. Therapy works well for some children with PDD and should be specialized according to each child's specific needs. Some children have shown improvement on various diets and nutritional programs, and speech and occupational therapy can help with communication, sensory and motor problems.

Many children with PDD will require special education and accommodations in the classroom. Setting up an IEP for your child will enable your child to get all the benefits of education possible.

 

 


All information contained in this web site is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your medical doctor or psychiatrist.
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This Site Updated 04/09/11