What is PDD?
What is PDD? PDD or pervasive developmental disorder is a term first used in the 1980's to describe five types
of social disorders: Autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, Childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD-Nos (pervasive
developmental disorder not otherwise specified) and Rett's disorder. What is common amongst all five is impairment
in social interaction and communication skills.
Ask two physicians and you will probably have two different answers to the question: "What is PDD?" The problem is
some will refer to PDD and PDD-Nos as the same. PDD-Nos is often diagnosed when the criteria is not met for the
other four disorders but the individual has PDD symptoms.
Childhood disintegrative disorder is the rarest of the five. Children will have a normal development for the first
two to three years of life and then will regress in different areas such as communication, social and motor skills.
This will occur before the child turns 10 years of age.
Asperger's disorder is often hard to diagnose as many individuals with Aspergers syndrome have a high IQ. People
with Aspergers have problems with social skills along with a limited range of interests.
Rett's disorder occurs primarily in females. Normal development occurs for the first 6-18 months and then
regression occurs. Problems often occur in walking and moving (motor skills). Individuals with Rett's often will
wiggle their hands and maybe gestures.
The most common of the pervasive developmental disorders is Autistic disorder. Individual with Autism will range
from mild to severe in behavior, communication and social aspects.
The last of the five disorders is PDD-Nos (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified). PDD-Nos is
often diagnosed when the criteria is not met with the other four PDD disorders. Individuals with PDD-Nos display
traits of mild Autism. Some professionals consider PDD-Nos to be mild Autism. There is a fine line between Autism
If your physician has inferred that he suspects that your child has a pervasive developmental disorder, make sure
that you ask them: "What is PDD?" This will give you their definition as to what PDD is. You can always get more
then one opinion.
Getting an early diagnosis is important in the development of your child. If you feel that your child has PDD
symptoms, it is very important to act immediately as there are waiting lists for professionals such as occupational
and behavior therapists.
If you wish to learn more about the symptoms that doctors use to diagnose someone with Autism, I encourage you
to visit the page called: Autism Symptoms.