Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)

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Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)  

What are Pervasive Developmental Disorders?

The diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. 

Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age. Symptoms may include problems with using and understanding language; difficulty relating to people, objects, and events; unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings, and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns. 

Autism (a developmental brain disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills, and a limited range of activities and interests) is the most characteristic and best studied. Other types of PDD include Asperger's Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett's Syndrome. Children with PDD vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors. 

Some children do not speak at all, others speak in limited phrases or conversations, and some have relatively normal language development. Repetitive play skills and limited social skills are generally evident. Unusual responses to sensory information, such as loud noises and lights, are also common.

Is there any treatment for pervasive disorders?

There is no known cure for PDD. Medications are used to address specific behavioral problems; therapy for children with this disorder should be specialized according to need. 

Some children with PDD benefit from specialized classrooms in which the class size is small and instruction is given on a one-to-one basis. Others function well in standard special education classes or regular classes with additional support.

What is the prognosis for pervasive disorder?

Early intervention including appropriate and specialized educational programs and support services plays a critical role in improving the outcome of individuals with PDD. This disorder is not fatal and does not affect normal life expectancy.

What research is being done about pervasive disorder?

The NINDS conducts and supports research on pervasive developmental disorders, including PDD. Much of this research focuses on understanding the neurological basis of PDD and on developing techniques to diagnose, treat, prevent, and ultimately cure this and similar pervasive disorders.

Click here to view a list of all studies currently seeking patients.

Organizations

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013-1492
nichcy@aed.org
http://www.nichcy.org
Tel: 800-695-0285
Fax: 202-884-8441

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
nimhinfo@nih.gov
http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Tel: 301-443-4513/301-443-8431 (TTY) 866-615-NIMH (-6464)
Fax: 301-443-4279

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Information Clearinghouse
1 Communication Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
nidcdinfo@nidcd.nih.gov
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov
Tel: 800-241-1044 800-241-1055 (TTD/TTY)

National Institute of Child Health and Human Information Resource Center
P.O. Box 3006
Rockville, MD 20847
NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov
http://www.nichd.nih.gov
Tel: 800-370-2943 888-320-6942 (TTY)
Fax: 301-984-1473

MAAP Services for Autism, Asperger's, and PDD
P.O. Box 524
Crown Point, IN 46308
chart@netnitco.net
http://www.maapservices.org
Tel: 219-662-1311
Fax: 219-662-0638

Autism Network International (ANI)
P.O. Box 35448
Syracuse, NY 13235-5448
jisincla@mailbox.syr.edu
http://ani.autistics.org

Autism Research Institute (ARI)
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116
http://www.autismresearchinstitute.com
Tel: 619-281-7165
Fax: 619-563-6840

Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)
P.O. Box 6175
North Plymouth, MA 02362-6175
SusanG1961@aol.com
http://www.autcom.org

National Organization for Rare and Pervasive Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968
(55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
orphan@rarediseases.org
http://www.rarediseases.org
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
10801 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-3279
actioncenter@asha.org
http://www.asha.org
Tel: 301-897-5700 800-638-8255
Fax: 301-571-0457

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