DISORDER - NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED (PDD-NOS)
The classification and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, most of which are also known as Pervasive
Developmental Disorders, is typified by this disorder. Pervasive
Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified is usually shortened
to PDD-NOS, and is a ‘sub threshold’ condition in which some — but
not all — features of Autism
or another explicitly identified Pervasive Developmental Disorder
pdd-nos and terminology
PDD-NOS is often incorrectly referred to as simply
“PDD.” The term PDD refers to the class of conditions to which Autism
belongs. PDD is not itself a diagnosis, while PDD-NOS is a diagnosis.
To further complicate the issue, PDD-NOS can also be referred to
as “atypical personality development,” “atypical PDD,” or “atypical
pdd-nos and diagnosis
PDD-NOS is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to encompass cases where there
is marked impairment of social interaction, communication, and/or
stereotyped behavior patterns or interest, but when full features
for Autism or another explicitly defined PDD are not met. Typically,
the symptoms should be recognizable before a child is 3 years old.
Although a toddler's behaviors might seem to fit the criteria, they
also might just be part of a youngster's developing personality.
It should be emphasized that this ‘’sub threshold’’ category is
thus defined implicitly, that is, no specific guidelines for diagnosis
are provided. While deficits in peer relations and unusual sensitivities
are typically noted, social skills are less impaired than in classical
Autism. The lack of definition for this relatively heterogeneous
group of children presents problems for research on this condition.
The limited available evidence suggest that children with PDD-NOS
probably come to professional attention rather later than is the
case with autistic children, and that intellectual deficits are
Case Illustration of pdd-nos
Leslie was the oldest of two children. She was
noted to be a difficult baby who was not easy to console but whose
motor and communicative development seemed appropriate. She was
socially related and sometimes enjoyed social interaction but was
easily over stimulated. She was noted to exhibit some unusual sensitivities
to aspects of the environment and at times of excitement exhibited
some hand flapping.
Her parents sought evaluation when she was four
years of age because of difficulties in nursery school. Leslie was
noted to have problems with peer interaction. She was often preoccupied
with possible adverse events. At evaluation she was noted to have
both communicative and cognitive functions within the normal range.
Although differential social relatedness was present, Leslie had
difficulty using her parents as sources of support and comfort.
Behavioral rigidity was noted, as was a tendency
to impose routines on social interaction. Subsequently Leslie was
enrolled in a therapeutic nursery school where she made significant
gains in social skills. Subsequently she was placed in a transitional
kindergarten and did well academically, although problems in peer
interaction and unusual affective responses persisted. As an adolescent
she describes herself as a `loner’ who has difficulties with social
interaction and who tends to enjoy solitary activities.
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