Pervasive Developmental Disorder: What You Need to Know

This stands for a group of conditions that result in delays in building basic personal and intellectual skills. Often, a child diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder acts in a manner beneath their chronological age.

The term PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) was once used as an umbrella term that included five disorders – Autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDD-NOS (Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified). However, PDD isn’t used by doctors anymore. It’s now called autism spectrum disorder.

Children with ASD experience problems with social interactions and communication. They may also exhibit symptoms such as avoiding eye contact, having a flat or high-pitched voice, and not being able to express what they are thinking using language. Symptoms may also include having difficulty with non-verbal communication like facial expressions and gestures, finding it difficult to continue a conversation, performing repetitive behaviors like hand flapping, headbanging, and spinning, and having difficulty controlling emotions and changing response to sound, etc. They may repeat certain kinds of play, play unusually with toys and other objects, experience trouble with ‘make believe,’ etc.

It’s important to note that the spectrum appears with a broad range of symptoms. Some people with ASD can go to school, hold a job, and live on their own, while others suffer from severe disabilities. And some people are somewhere between the spectrum’s these two ends.

Though it’s a major topic of research to identify all the causes of autism spectrum disorders, genetics belong to the risk factors, according to scientists.

When it comes to the diagnosis of ASDs, doctors observe the child while asking the parents/guardians questions about their behaviors. While there is no lab test available to diagnose an autism spectrum disorder, the doctor may conduct some tests to identify if there’s a physical disorder triggering the symptoms. If there’s no physical disorder found, the doctor may refer the child to a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, or health professional who’s specially trained to diagnose ASDs.

Here, the most important thing is to identify if a child belongs to the spectrum as soon as possible. It helps the parents to arrange resources to help the child reach their full potential. Some medications can help a child with symptoms of ASDs. Medications work best when used in conjunction with therapy, which helps to develop socialization and other valuable skills.

Finally, it helps to accept these people as they’re with their own unique interests and personalities while offering them support and skills that can prove to be of great help to them.

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