Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified PDDNOS
There is the term PDD and the term PDD-NOS.
PDD is the acronym for a category of Autism Spectrum Disorders also called Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and there are five conditions that fall within the category.
PDD-NOS is the acronym for Pervasive Developmental Disorders not Otherwise Specified which is a condition and not a category.
It can be confusing which is why the terms PDDNOS, PDD-NOS, PPD NOS, PPD, are often used interchangeably by people.
In other words, the PDD-NOS term is a condition and is one of the five conditions in the PDD category. The conditions that are considered to be PDD have autistic similarities and the severity of the conditions fall along a spectrum of possibilities.
All the conditions exhibit through patterns of behavior that indicate impairments in social relations, social communication, and cognitive development.
The five conditions are classic autism, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett’s disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS. PDD-NOS is the most common term used when talking about Pervasive Developmental Disorder not Otherwise Specified.
PDD-NOS is diagnosed when it is not clear a child’s condition is one of the other four PDD conditions, yet the symptoms fall within the PDD patterns of behavior even if they are unusual.
Children With Autism
The prevalence of children with autism continues to climb. Teaching children with autism symptoms remains a major challenge for many schools. A recent report by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reviewed information from 14 states and found that approximately 1 in – 150 children, 8 years of age have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
There is no national or Military registry so true prevalence is unknown but it is more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.
The PDD-NOS diagnosis has only been used for 15 years and is undergoing much research to better define the condition. According to the Emory Autism Center, “The defining feature must be a qualitative difference in social and language development for these diagnoses.” Emory.
It can be difficult to diagnose PDD-NOS over autism because the difference comes down to identified behavior patterns and the number of autistic characteristics the child exhibits.
It takes time and careful measurement to determine and document behavior patterns. And young children do not have developed communication skills anyway making it even more difficult to diagnose PDDNOS.
Though children with Asperger’s Syndrome have been known to lose the diagnosis at an early age (by age 8) after intervention has been started while he or she is 2 or 3 years old, PDD-NOS is a condition for life. It is not curable and will never “disappear”.
But the life span of people diagnosed with PDD-NOS is normal. Autism Spectrum Disorders are due to brain development problems and not to other medical conditions as far as researchers know at this point.
Many adults learn to function quite well after many years of treatment even though they may continue to experience social interaction and communication problems.
Like with all other autism conditions, the sooner intervention begins the higher the probability the child will be able to experience positive outcomes. Those outcomes will differ for each person.
The important point is that early intervention usually does produce results including verbal communication and social interaction skills. A variety of treatment methods can be used of which Applied Behavior Analysis is considered to be the most effective.
The treatment method must be specific to the child’s PDD-NOS condition. Some children with PDD-NOS are mainstreamed into the classroom if their condition is not severe and intervention methods are successful.
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