Pervasive Developmental Disorders
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.
(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.
here to view a list of all studies currently seeking patients.
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
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Tel: 301-443-4513/301-443-8431 (TTY) 866-615-NIMH (-6464)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
1 Communication Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
Tel: 800-241-1044 800-241-1055 (TTD/TTY)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Information Resource
P.O. Box 3006
Rockville, MD 20847
Tel: 800-370-2943 888-320-6942 (TTY)
MAAP Services for Autism, Asperger's, and PDD
P.O. Box 524
Crown Point, IN 46308
Autism Network International (ANI)
P.O. Box 35448
Syracuse, NY 13235-5448
Autism Research Institute (ARI)
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116
Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)
P.O. Box 6175
North Plymouth, MA 02362-6175
National Organization for Rare
and Pervasive Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968
(55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
10801 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-3279
Tel: 301-897-5700 800-638-8255
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© Anthony George 2005 Pervasive Developmental Disorders
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