PDD or pervasive developmental disorders refers to a group of five disorders that are characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions like socialization and communication. The disorders classified as PDD are atypical autism, autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). Common symptoms are:
• Difficulty in using and understanding language
• Difficulty in relating to people, events and objects
• Unusual play with toys and other objects
• Difficulty in adjusting to changes in routine
• Difficulty in regulating behavior
• Repetitive body movements
HOW IS PDD DIAGNOSED?
The doctor will begin the evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical exam along with a developmental screening questionnaire. Although there are no laboratory tests to diagnose a PDD, the doctor may use various imaging studies and blood tests to determine if there is a physical disorder causing the symptoms. If no physical disorder is found, the child may be referred to a specialist in childhood development disorders, such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist, pediatric neurologist, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, or other health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat PDDs. Developmental testing, mental and neurological examinations, as well as parent and teacher input, will all be used to make the diagnosis.
HOW IS PDD TREATED?
Treatment is more often done with behavioural therapies. Special learning schools may be recommended for the child and there may also be need for speech, physical or occupational therapy.
DID YOU KNOW?
There can be five types of PDD – Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and unspecified disorders that cannot be characterized in the above four.