Pervasive Development or Autistic Spectrum Disorders

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Definition of Pervasive Development Disorder:

Any of a group of disorders of infancy, childhood, or adolescence that are characterized by distortions in the development of the basic psychological functions such as language, social skills, attention, perception, reality testing, and movement.

Pervasive developmental disorder was first used in the 1980’s to describe this class of neurological disorders that can impair social and communication skills and repetitive behaviors. PDD itself is not actually a disorder. It’s a description. It is somewhat of an umbrella of multiple disorders that can spread throughout a number of impairments in social interactions as well as verbal and non verbal communications and stereotypic behavior patterns. There is a lot of variability in symptoms and in the severity of these disorders among individuals. This is why multiple disorders are under this label.

The disorders that fall under PDD is Asperger’s syndrome, Rett’s syndrome, Autistic disorder, childhood disintergrative disorder and Pervasive developmental disorder none other specified (PDD-NOS). Since these disorders have some amount of an autism spectrum, PDD is now sometimes referred to Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is the term that will be used throughout the rest of this paper.

The autistic spectrum ranges from less to most severe:

Less Severe

Autistic Disorder Pervasive Developmental Disorder Asperger’s Syndrome Rett’s Syndrome Most Severe

Childhood Disintergrative Disorder

While communicative dysfunction is one of the central characteristics of ASD, its profile of symptoms varies widely from person to person. At one extreme, there are childre...

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...Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48(5), 1080-1097. Retrieved form EBSCOhost.

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Silliman, E.r., Diehl, S.F., Bahr, R., Hnath-Chisolm, T., Zenko, C., & Friedman, S.A. (2003). A New Look at Perfomance on Theory-of-Mind Tasks by Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools, 34(3), 236-252. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Ral, S.M., & Gagie, B. (2006). Learning through Seeing and Doing: Visual Supports for Children with Autism. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 38(6), 26-33. Retrieved form EBSCOhost.
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