Autism and PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder): It's Symptoms and How It's Seen Publicly

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Pervasive Development Disorder

Pervasive Development Disorder, also known as PDD or PDD nos, is a developmental disability on the autism spectrum that is often downplayed in the autism community. With the bad economy, many children are often denied services because the symptoms that fall under the PDD or PDD nos diagnosis do not qualify, are not severe enough, or do not meet all the requirements of classical autism. PDD is a disorder that can be confused with other unrelated disorders such as apraxia or speech delay alone because of its lack of full spectrum symptoms.

A Look At PDD

The truth is that no two cases of PDD are alike and that children’s symptoms can vary from case to case when it comes to the severity of each symptom or presence or absence of a specific symptom. Many children can experience symptoms of autism and behavior problems that can be just as severe as those with Classic Autism, yet be diagnosed with PDD because they are lacking several of the twelve main symptoms of autism.

PDD can also be diagnosed late, as many children with PDD give good eye contact unlike most children with classic autism. Many children with PDD are not obsessed with the lining and stacking of objects as those with Classic Autism are. The most common symptoms that are exhibited in children with PDD that are present in children with Classic Autism are speech delay, echolalia, repetitiveness, and self harm among many other symptoms and behaviors. The symptoms can be exaggerated due to the lack of other symptoms that may be present in a child with classic autism.

Autism or Not?

Some may try to argue that PDD is not “real” autism. It definitely is the real deal. Children with autism may have more symptoms, but are often more calm mannered and are not always more severe. All autism DSM’s are categorized under Pervasive Development Disorders and Classic Autism is just one of them in addition to Asperger’s, PDD nos, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett’s Syndrome. PDD overall is widely misunderstood in more ways than one and children with PDD can actually be more difficult to handle as they may exhibit more behavioral problems in addition to repetitive behavior and obsessions.