Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

A Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) refers to a developmental condition surrounding communication, social and learning skills and behaviour. It is most often diagnosed during childhood.

The most common and widely known PDD is autism, and so PDDs  are also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). As such, PDDs include autism and aspergers syndrome as well as more rare conditions such as Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome. There is also Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Children may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS if they display some behavioural features of an autistic disorder but not all.

PDDs can affect children to varying degrees, depending on the severity of the disorder and where they may be placed on the autistic spectrum.

Traits generally observed in all PDDs are:

  • A need for set routine and repetitive behaviour
  • Impaired verbal and non-verbal (such as eye contact or pointing) communication skills
  • Difficulty interacting with others and understanding social cues
  • Learning difficulties

A PDD is a lifelong disability requiring some level of long-term support. However, depending on the severity of the condition, it is possible with early intervention, symptoms can improve with treatment and with age. For instance, children and adults with aspergers syndrome (considered the milder of the PDDs) may have an average, or above-average level of intelligence, learn how to integrate into society and go on to lead independent lives. Contact us if you would like to learn more about how we can help your child.

Did you know?

PDDs are considered to be genetically, rather than environmentally, based and affect more boys than girls.