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Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

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The term Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) refers a group of disorders that pertain to one’s communication, social, and developmental skills. Symptoms can be detected as early as infancy, as some cases are identified before the age of three. Children or toddlers with PDD may show difficulty relating to others and often have trouble using and understanding language. In addition, they may have unusual behavior patterns and demonstrate resistance during a change in their routine. PDD is a general category that includes Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD-NOS. These disorders exhibit a range of patterns and characteristics, proving that no child is the same. While one child may be high-functioning, another may completely lack language skills.

These five developmental disorders are commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorders. “The most common are Autism, Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (www.learningdisabilitiesinfo.com).” Severe Autism, Rett Syndrome, and CDD are usually recognized before a child reaches the age of three. However, high-functioning Autism and Asperger’s are often times not discovered until a child enters school. High-functioning Autism and Asperger’s are frequently compared, considering children with these disorders express the same traits and characteristics. Conversely, the main difference between the two disorders is pragmatics, or language skills. A child with Asperger’s Syndrome is capable of communicating, but due to their social and developmental impairments, they cannot appropriately communicate with their peers. On the other hand, a child with Autism lacks language skills and requires spec...

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...e a big difference to a child's eventual ability to interact with a non-autistic world (www.autism-help.org).”

In conclusion, Pervasive Developmental Disorder categorizes five areas of the autism spectrum. Each area is unique and has its own characteristics as well as life expectancies. While one disorder may result in language impairments, another may be a chronic syndrome that an individual has to live with for the rest of their life. PDD-NOS is a term used to describe an individual who possesses autistic characteristics, but not specifically Autism. PDD is defined under IDEA and each child is capable of receiving educational services such as an IEP, 504 Plan, learning support, or special education. Further research is being developed on the cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as treatments and therapies to assist the children affected by the disorder.
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