Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
Pervasive Developmental Disorder & Autism Spectrum Disorder are one and the same, both
these terms are just separate ways of describing autism and conditions which are similar to autism.
The word Development emphasis that the problem is found early in the child’s life. Pervasive
describes the many areas of the child’s development that are affected. Autism Spectrum Disorder,
although the disorder is pervasive,  it does not affect every aspect of development. This term is
criticized because it describes the nature of autistic features. There are many more children with
autism spectrum disorder than there are children with autism alone.


Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a category was appointed by the American Psychiatric
Association to children with delay in their social /language/motor and/or cognitive development. A
child may have delays in social development and delays in one or more of the other areas. The
behaviors of children with a PDD can vary tremendously. PDD is not one disorder but a category
that surrounds a wide range of delays, differs enormously in developmental  domains. Autism is the
most severe of the pervasive developmental disorders. Autism is a primary disturbance in the
individual's ability to relate to others. Language delay and cognitive delays are also common.
PDD-NOS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. This is a diagnosis given
to a child who exhibits impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction, verbal and
non-verbal communication, or when autistic tendencies  are present. Some of the symptoms might
be extreme difficulty attending to the pertinent aspects of the environment or aggression towards
self or others.
Many parents may notice self injurious behaviors, self-injury may be a form of self-stimulatory.
They are repetitive, ritualistic behaviors which provide the child with some form of sensory
stimulation and satisfaction. Some children engage in this behavior to obtain attention from other
people. Some children exhibit self-injury to escape or avoid a task. Other possibilities that these
behaviors could be related to hypersensitivity to certain sound in the environment.


Although there is no cure, autism does respond to behavioral and educational treatment.  
Research suggests that early intervention is especially effective in achieving growth in cognitive
and communication skills. There are a variety of intervention programs that have been designed
specifically to help children with autism. Parents may hear that one or more of these ( "Floor Time,"
"FastForWord," "ABA," "Auditory Integration Training," or "Social Stories") is the intervention that a
child must have to make progress.

Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support the claim that any one intervention program will
guarantee progress for all children with autism. Like children everywhere, children with autism differ
from each other. Like all children, they differ in terms of their IQs, their interests, their strengths,
and their educational needs. An intervention program must be individually designed, with the help
of experienced professionals, so that it is fit to the strengths, interests and needs of each child with
In general, effective behavioral programs, such as ABA, are often helpful in setting behaviors the
child does not show spontaneously. But these programs will need to use more natural approaches
that encourage the child to use newly learned behaviors in real life situations. Successful
intervention programs usually involve a mix of highly structured environment and natural activities
and have the following:

Individualized sessions

Specialized curriculum for children with autism

Strong communication

Family involvement

Set arranged, structured teaching

Intensive therapy (at least 20 hours/week)

Developmentally appropriate exercises

Some contact with typical peers

Parents should be wary of any intervention that promises a cure or suggests that its method is the
only effective approach. Parents should also suspect any program that requires parents to
personally pay high fees. Children with autism are entitled to public educational services and
legitimate services should be provided by public agencies. Parents should not be obligated to pay
for educational services themselves.          Developmental Disorders          Autism          Parenting Issues