Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

What is Pervasive Developmental Disorder ?

Pervasive developmental disorder is an umbrella term for a group of disorders in which people have delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Autism is perhaps the best known type. Other types include Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett syndrome. Symptoms of this disorder vary, but include problems relating to others and difficulty with changes in routine.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Symptoms:

Pervasive developmental disorder symptoms encompass problems with social skills, speech and language, and development. Symptoms vary in type and intensity, and no two people will have the symptoms. A few of the more common pervasive developmental disorder symptoms include avoiding eye contact, repeating what is said (echolalia), and speaking in a flat-sounding voice.

Pervasive developmental disorder symptoms related to social skills can include:
  • Not interacting with others the way most people do, or not being interested in other people at all
  • wanting to be alone
  • Trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • Not wanting to be held or cuddled, or only cuddling when they want to
  • Not noticing when other people try to talk to them
  • Being very interested in people, but not knowing how to talk, play, or relate to them.

Other pervasive developmental disorder symptoms related to speech, language, and communication can include:
  • Speaking with a flat-sounding voice
  • Inability to control how loudly or softly they talk
  • Standing too close to the people they are talking to
  • Sticking with one topic of conversation for too long
  • Speaking well and knowing a lot of words, but having a hard time listening to what other people say.
  • Talking a lot about something that they really like, rather than having a back-and-forth conversation with someone.

Children with pervasive developmental disorder might also learn a hard skill before they learn an easy one. For example, a child might be able to read long words, but not be able to tell you what sound a "b" makes. A child might also learn a skill and then lose it. For example, a child may be able to say many words, but later stop talking altogether.

Education and Treatment for Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Early and intensive education can help children with the condition grow and learn new skills. The goal of these efforts is to help with the more difficult symptoms of pervasive developmental disorder in a child and to improve the child's skills that help him or her talk, interact, play, learn, and care for his or her needs.
Medicines can relieve symptoms and are helpful for some people, but structured teaching of skills (often called behavioral intervention) is currently the most effective treatment for pervasive developmental disorder.
The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the type of pervasive developmental disorder your child has and his or her needs.
Options to treat pervasive developmental disorder can include:
  • Therapy
  • Specialized education
  • Social support
  • Medications.

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