Autism Spectrum Disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) are a group of developmental disabilities that are characterized by delays in language, communication, motor behaviors, and socialization. Up until 2013, these were the labels used to describe ASD but now they have changed. See https://www.autismspeaks.org/dsm-5/faq for specific changes. The term pervasive developmental disorders is used interchangeably with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by health professionals. There are five conditions which were referred to as pervasive developmental disorders:

  •  Children with autism exhibit deficits in social communication and social interaction, restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior and activities, and unique ways of learning, paying attention, and reacting to things. They have a limited scope of interests and activities and are frequently resistant to change. While it used to be diagnosed separately, Autism now falls under Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  •  Children with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to display similar problems with social interaction, communication, and behavior. However, children with this disorder are characterized by having above average or average intelligence. They may also have trouble with coordination and concentration. Asperger’s Syndrome is also now defined under Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  •  This is an extremely rare disorder that almost always affects girls. It not only produces some of the same symptoms as the PDDs above, but also leads to problems with physical development. Children with Rett Syndrome usually experience a loss of motor or movement skills (such as walking or using their hands) and have difficulties with coordination.
  •  Child Disintegrative Disorder is also a rare condition that affects children between the ages of 2 to 10. Children with this disorder start out developing normally in all areas but later experience a loss of abilities (such as social and language skills). They may also lose the ability to control the function of their bowels or bladders.
  •  This condition is known as a milder form of autism. It describes children who face some difficulties in interaction and communication, but are still slightly more social than children with autism. PDD-NOS is also now considered a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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